Career Profile: Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products
Some people like to sort out anything that they have in front of them, whether that is jellybeans, coins, or anything else. Agricultural products also need to be sorted out to ensure that people can buy good quality food and eat well. If you are detail-oriented, you might want to consider the job of grader and sorter for agricultural products.
Like most jobs related to farms, career prospects for graders and sorters for agricultural products are best near farming areas. With modern transportation, however, people in this trade can often work in cities where the products are shipped. This career is always in demand to some extent, although job prospects might vary, depending on the state of the economy.
Grading and sorting agricultural products can vary from one part of the country to another. The products could include grain, fruit, or anything else that farms produce. Some of the aspects that people in this field look for are colour, appearance, species, length, width, feel, smell, and quality. For example, someone sorting strawberries would look for bruised fruit or any that are too small to include in a basket. Sometimes graders and sorters weigh the products, but sometimes they use visual assessments. Then they discard the products that are not good enough to sell.
Keeping good records is an important part of working in this field. Each product requires a tag to show what it is and where it should go. Some products need to be shipped across the country, and people in this field need to know the length of time it takes to get a product from one side of the country to another. If it takes a fruit a week to ripen after it is picked, for example, graders and sorters need to take that into account when they ship the agricultural products to another part of the country.
The province where graders and sorters work can affect the kinds of products that they assess, since different climates and types of soil affect the agricultural products that grow in the area. The Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, and Saskatchewan tend to have more grain than other areas, and provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia have large amounts of fruit.
Generally, graders and sorters need less than a high school diploma, but some employers might require more education. Having good eyesight with or without glasses is important. Standing at a table for hours at a time can be very tiring, and people might want to move on to office work as they age. Wages start at about $16 per hour or $29,000 per year and can rise to $23 per hour or $56,000 per year. Getting a diploma or certificate in an area related to agriculture can help people advance in this job.
Job opportunities in this trade can vary, but prospects are likely to be good in the coming years. This is especially true for people who are willing to move to places where these jobs are available. Different times of the year tend to be busier than others because of the times when the agricultural products ripen. If this type of job appeals to you, why not consider a career as a grader and sorter for agricultural products?
Careers.org. “Occupation Profile for Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products.” http://www.careers.org/occupations/45-2041.00/graders-and-sorters-agricultural-products.
Owl Guru. “How To Become an Agricultural Products Grader and Sorter.” https://www.owlguru.com/career/agricultural-graders/requirements/.
Payscale Canada. “Average Grader/Sorter, Agricultural Products Hourly Pay in Canada. https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Grader_%2F_Sorter%2C_Agricultural_Products/Hourly_Rate.
World at Work. “Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products.” https://careers.worldatwork.org/career-insights/graders-and-sorters-agricultural-products/.