Agricultural Sprayer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Mixes or applies pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides through sprays, dusts, vapors, soil incorporation, or chemical application on trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops. Usually requires specific training and State or Federal certification.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Plant Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Mixes pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides for application to trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops.
  • Fills sprayer tanks with water and chemicals, according to formulas.
  • Lifts, pushes, and swings nozzles, hoses, and tubes to direct spray over designated areas.
  • Identifies lawn or plant diseases to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
  • Covers areas to specified depths with pesticides, applying knowledge of weather conditions, droplet sizes, elevation-to-distance ratios, and obstructions.
  • Starts motors and engages machinery, such as sprayer agitators or pumps or portable spray equipment.
  • Connects hoses and nozzles selected according to terrain, distribution pattern requirements, types of infestations, and velocities.
  • Cleans or services machinery to ensure operating efficiency, using water, gasoline, lubricants, or hand tools.
  • Provides driving instructions to truck drivers to ensure complete coverage of designated areas, using hand and horn signals.
  • Plants grass with seed spreaders and operates straw blowers to cover seeded areas with mixtures of asphalt and straw.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Seasonal work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Aerial Applicator -- Pilots crop dusting airplane at low altitudes over agricultural fields to dust or spray fields with seeds, fertilizers, or pesticides.
  • Certified Pesticide Applicator -- Applies pesticide to kill pests that infest buildings and surrounding areas by applying the pesticide through chemical spraying, dusting, or spreading granular materials.