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Monterey County Agriculture

Monterey County is recognized as the “Salad Bowl of the World.” Our temperate climate and rich soil provide the perfect environment to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Within the agricultural industry, there are 627 businesses employing 77,800 people. In 2022, Monterey County employed more people in agriculture than any other county in the state and this industry generated $4.6 billion dollars in economic activity.

Agriculture Technology

Most individuals have some understanding that agriculture is a key industry for the county.  What most people don’t realize is that technology is driving a huge transformation in the Monterey County agricultural industry and the jobs that exist within that industry. The large agricultural companies that call Monterey County home are looking to technology to boost their crop yields and to lower their costs. These agricultural tech jobs pay much better than what many people view as typical agricultural jobs.

However, agricultural processes have been influenced greatly by the advent of mechatronics and robotics engineering in ways that seemed impossible just a few years ago. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field that refers to the skill sets needed in the agriculture manufacturing industry. At the intersection of mechanics, electronics, and computing, mechatronics specialists create simpler, smarter technology systems—in this case the agriculture industry.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, “Today’s agriculture routinely uses sophisticated technologies such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology.” These technologies allow farmers to use fewer resources to target specific areas that require attention and to customize treatments for varying crops or even individual plants. They are also designed to be used in all kinds of weather and environments.

Technological Innovations Agriculture Examples

  • Agricultural drones monitor crop growth and provide information on yields and farm efficiency.
  • Autonomous tractors use similar technology to self-driving cars and contain automatic planting systems, sensors to collect information on soil conditions, and auto steering systems.

If you would like to know about training opportunities in this area, please call 831-796-3335 and speak to one of our career specialists in the career center.

Agricultural/Mechatronics Wages in Monterey County

SOC Occupation Entry Level Annual Wages Median Annual Wages Experienced Annual Wages
49-9041 Industrial Machinery Mechanics $20.34 $42,307 $28.78 $59,862 $35.09 $72,987
17-3024 Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians $23.07 $47,986 $35.20 $73,216 $42.78 $88,982
17-3027 Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians $24.10 $50,128 $34.96 $72,717 $40.65 $84,552
17-3023 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians $27.37 $56,930 $40.63 $84,510 $46.57 $96,866

Source: JobsEQ®