Grain Elevator Operator  What They Do

Just the Facts


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dotGrain elevator operators calculate grain quotas and conduct tests to determine grain quality. They purchase the grain, arrange for transport or storage, and operate the equipment that cleans and moves the grain.

They also load trucks and railcars and act as farm supply sales agents for fertilizers, insecticides and other farm supplies.

David Krejci is the executive vice-president of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society. He says the occupation is highly diverse.

"It is impossible to discuss one job that would be typical because there are so many different aspects to this work and so many different descriptions," he says.

Krejci also says that the term "elevator operator" is not common. People in this occupation are more likely to be known as managers or superintendents.

dotMichael Moors works for a wheat pool. He says small country elevators are closing. They are being replaced by large facilities in central locations. Thus, companies such as his are creating jobs called agribusiness account reps.

"They go out in the country and visit the farmers in their yard. They talk to a customer to determine what he has, and what he needs for price," says Moors.

"Then they will then try and coordinate it so the grain is moved from the farmer's yard to a facility to accommodate the grain. The farmer may no longer have a local elevator, but they will still have a rep they can call on."

dotAccording to Krejci, small numbers of women are employed in these occupations. They usually work for larger companies. This work tends not to attract women, since it is traditionally a manual labor job.

At a Glance

Work with farmers to sell their grain

  • Pesticide dispenser's licenses may be required in some locations
  • Smaller elevators are closing in favor of large operations
  • You'll need at least a high school education