Is becoming a grain elevator worker right for me?

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How to become a Grain Elevator Worker

Becoming a grain elevator worker involves a combination of education, on-the-job training, and gaining relevant experience in the agricultural industry. Here are the steps to become a grain elevator worker:

  • Educational Background: While a formal education is not always mandatory, having a high school diploma or equivalent is beneficial. Some positions may require basic math and communication skills.
  • Gain Entry-Level Experience: Start by seeking entry-level positions in the agricultural sector. Positions such as farmhand, general laborer, or assistant in a grain elevator can provide valuable hands-on experience.
  • On-the-Job Training: Many grain elevator workers receive on-the-job training to learn specific tasks and safety procedures. Training may cover equipment operation, quality control procedures, and handling different types of grains.
  • Seek Certification (Optional): While not always required, obtaining certifications related to grain handling or safety can enhance your credentials. Organizations like the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) offer training programs and certifications (see below).
  • Apply for Positions: Keep an eye on job listings for grain elevator worker positions. Apply to openings that match your skills and experience, highlighting any relevant training or certifications.
  • Consider Specialization (Optional): Depending on the size and scope of the grain elevator, there may be opportunities for specialization, such as becoming a quality control inspector or equipment maintenance specialist.

Here are some certifications and programs that may be beneficial for individuals working in or aspiring to work in grain elevators:

  • Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) Credentials: GEAPS offers a variety of courses and credentials related to grain handling and processing. These include the Grain Operations Credential, the GEAPS/K-State Grain Elevator Managers Credential, and the GEAPS Safety Specialist Credential. These credentials cover aspects of grain elevator operations, management, and safety.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training: OSHA provides training programs related to workplace safety, including those specific to the agricultural industry. Courses such as OSHA 10-Hour General Industry for Agriculture can provide valuable insights into safety regulations and practices.
  • Certified Grain Handler (CGH) Certification: The International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) offers the Certified Grain Handler program. This certification focuses on safety and efficiency in grain handling and storage, covering topics such as equipment operation, fire prevention, and emergency response.
  • HAZMAT Certification: Depending on the specific responsibilities of a grain elevator worker, obtaining Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) certification may be relevant. This certification addresses the safe handling and transportation of hazardous materials.
  • First Aid and CPR Certification: While not specific to grain elevator work, having current First Aid and CPR certifications can be valuable in emergency situations. These certifications are often offered by organizations like the American Red Cross.
  • Certified Equipment Manager (CEM) Certification: The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) offers the CEM certification, which covers the management and maintenance of heavy equipment. This certification can be relevant for grain elevator workers involved in equipment operation and maintenance.
  • National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) Training: The NGFA provides various training programs and resources related to grain handling and safety. While not certifications in the traditional sense, these programs can contribute to a worker's knowledge base.