LEVELS OF EMPLOYMENT
The Employment Opportunities tables located elsewhere in this report place each listed occupation in one of three Levels of Employment. They are Entry, Technical, and professional. These are not definitive categories having firm boundaries, in practice there seems to be a fair amount of overlapping between them and the terms mean different things to different people. However, until universally accepted standards evolve, these three categories appear to be more widely used and understood.
Entry Level: workers normally work under the direct supervision of a technician or professional. This is the lowest level of responsibility in the workplace except, possibly for trainees, and often these persons have very limited decision-making roles in their assignments. Increasingly, a high school diploma is required for employment in an entry-level position but frequently that requirement is waived if the applicant has compensating strengths, such as experience. Though experience often is not a requirement for employment in an entry-level occupation, applicants with successful, relevant experience certainly are at an advantage when competing with experienced persons for a job. Usually entry level workers perform a variety of tasks on demand from their immediate supervisor. however, sometimes they perform a single task and, if so, it could be with a minimum of direct supervision after training. An irrigator is an example of the later that comes to mind. Wages for entry level work usually begin with the minimum wage and may work up to minimum plus 50% depending on experience, training, education, performance, etc. Titles sometimes associated with entry level occupations include generic terms such as laborer, worker, aide, assistant or a specific title such as irrigator, fruit picker, etc.
Technical Level: employees generally work under the indirect supervision of a professional but often with little interface or direction. This usually is an occupation involving mid-level responsibility and decision. This usually is an occupation involving mid-level responsibility and decision making nearly always is a part of it. These workers may perform more complex tasks and/or supervise the work of one or more entry level workers. Technical level workers often specialize in one or a series of related tasks. An example of a narrowly-focused specialized technical worker could be a licensed animal health technician. Technical-level occupations usually require post-secondary but sub-baccalaureate education/specialized training. Frequently when there is a shortage of professional level job openings, professionally trained persons will complete for technical level jobs. When they do, they usually have a competitive edge over applicants with less than a baccalaureate degree and training related to the occupation. Experience also usually is required but sometimes education/specialized training is accepted in lieu of it. The starting wage for technical-level workers varies form employer to employer but it usually is in the neighborhood of 2-2.5 times the minimum wage and it increases depending on experience, education, training, license or certification (when appropriate), performance and complexity of the task. Titles sometimes associated with technical-level occupations include generic title such as technician, foreman, supervisor, contractor, or specific title such as farrier, laboratory technician, landscape drafter, etc..
Professional Level: employees, while usually accountable to a manager or administrator, normally work with a high degree of independence and are regularly called upon to make major decisions about their work. They perform very complex tasks and/or serve in positions of great responsibility for the successful management of enterprises, programs, projects or departments. These occupations require a baccalaureate or high university degree. Relevant experience is helpful when applying for positions. Some typical professional-level occupations are veterinarian, agricultural engineer, agronomist, geneticist golf course superintendent, teacher, consultant, farm manager, government agriculture program administrator, marketing association CEO, etc..