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NOC Code: NOC Code: 6234 Occupation: Grain Elevator Operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Grain elevator operators purchase grain from farmers, determine the grade, quality and weight of grain delivered, and maintain records for farmers and companies. They are employed by licensed grain elevator companies. Grain elevator operators purchase grain from farmers, determine the grade, quality and weight of grain delivered, and maintain records for farmers and companies. They are employed by licensed grain elevator companies.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3 4
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read short text entries in forms. For example, read comments on equipment maintenance and hazard assessment forms to learn about damaged equipment and unsafe work conditions. Read short entries on grain inspection forms to learn about the condition of seeds and grains. (1)
  • Read instructions and warnings on chemicals and equipment labels. For example, read storage instructions on labels affixed to containers of herbicides and pesticides. (1)
  • Read memos, bulletins and email. For example, read memos and bulletins to learn about new pricing policies, work procedures and growing conditions. Read email from farmers to learn about deliveries and crops. (2)
  • Read marketing brochures and articles in trade magazines. For example, read marketing brochures to learn about new grain handling equipment. Read articles in magazines such as Western Producer and Ontario Farmer to learn about changes to government subsidy programs. (3)
  • Read short reports. For example, read non-compliance reports to learn the events leading up to food safety incidents and the corrective actions taken. (3)
  • Read a variety of manuals and guides. For example, read the organization's policy and procedure manuals to learn about human resource policies and reporting requirements. Read safety and equipment manuals to learn safe work practices and procedures to operate and maintain equipment such as conveyor belts and loading legs. Read grading guides to learn how to grade various types of seeds and crops. (3)
  • Read Acts, regulations and marketing agreements. For example, read the Canadian Grain Act to learn about standards of quality and grain handling regulations. Read regulations issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to learn about the rules governing food safety and the importation of seeds into Canada. Read Canada Wheat Board marketing agreements to learn about dispute resolution protocols and allowable procedures and fees. (4)
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Writing
  • Write short text entries in daybooks and logbooks. For example, write reminders about upcoming deliveries and meetings in daybooks. Write observations of equipment conditions and safety hazards in logbooks. (1)
  • Write email and memos. For example, write email to suppliers to confirm prices, delivery dates and availability of supplies. Grain elevator managers may write memos to explain policy and procedure changes to workers and farmers. (2)
  • Write procedures and work instructions. For example, grain elevator managers may write procedures to explain equipment start-up and shut-down processes. They may write sequenced instructions to explain actions to take in the event of emergencies. (3)
  • Write reports. For example, grain elevator managers may write accident investigation and non-compliance reports which include witness statements and recommendations. They may write reports to present the rationales for capital expansion projects and major repairs. (4)
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Document Use
  • Recognize symbols located on labels, material packaging, drawings and signs. For example, observe hazard symbols on container labels to learn about pesticide exposure hazards. (1)
  • Scan labels on product packaging and equipment to locate data such as specifications and identification numbers. (1)
  • Locate data in schedules. For example, scan schedules to determine the arrival times of trains and transport trucks. (2)
  • Enter data into forms. For example, assistant grain elevator managers enter data such as dates, commodity types, tonnages, bins and grades into hazard assessment and outbound load forms. Grain elevator managers enter identification numbers, dollar amounts and contact information into grain purchase contract templates and customer report forms. (3)
  • Locate and interpret data in technical drawings and maps. For example, locate heights, clearances and the positions of parts in scaled drawings. Interpret colour-coded maps to determine the effects of moisture, temperatures, herbicides and pesticides on yields. (3)
  • Locate data in tables, lists and schedules. For example, scan primary grade determinate tables to determine the maximum allowable percentages of ergot, excreta, sclerotinia and stones for each seed and grain grade. Locate prices and dimensions in parts and price lists. (3)
  • Interpret schematics. For example, study process schematics to locate control devices and to understand the flow of seeds and grains through cleaners and driers. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use email and personal communication devices to communicate with co-workers, customers and farmers and to send and receive attachments such as production reports. (2)
  • Use custom databases to retrieve contact information, dates, credit limits, inventory numbers and equipment maintenance schedules. Input data such as revenues, purchases, production statistics and measurements. (2)
  • Use browsers such as Internet Explorer to access Internet websites. Search for information about equipment using general search functions. Visit bookmarked sites to locate and retrieve commodity prices, bulletins and newsletters. (2)
  • Use basic editing and text formatting features of word processing programs such as Word and WordPerfect to write memos, policies and procedures. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, grain elevator managers may use accounting programs to record and track financial transactions. They may use more advanced features to generate invoices and payroll cheques. (2)
  • Use statistical analysis software. For example, grain elevator managers may use custom statistical analysis software to analyze production statistics. (3)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, grain elevator managers may create spreadsheets to track expenses, hours and production statistics. They may create operating and capital budgets by entering projected revenues and expenses into budget templates. They may also use spreadsheet software to create and print graphs which depict sales and production trends. (3)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, operate distributed control system software to monitor and regulate energy, fuel consumption, speeds, temperatures, weights and moisture levels. Locate data such as weights and temperatures on computer display screens and adjust process settings using computer interfaces. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss products, prices and delivery schedules with suppliers and contractors. For example, call suppliers to order pesticides and request delivery information. Call repair technicians to schedule equipment repairs and determine costs. (1)
  • Negotiate prices, concessions, timelines and payment schedules with farmers. For example, grain elevator managers may negotiate prices and payment schedules with farmers who purchase products such as herbicides. They may also negotiate the value of crops with farmers. (3)
  • Direct, train and advise co-workers. For example, grain elevator managers describe job duties to new hires and explain how equipment such as loading augers are operated and maintained. They mediate conflicts between workers and discuss their performance. (3)
  • Make presentations to farmers, co-workers and community groups. For example, grain elevator managers may explain grain handling and grading processes, and the attributes of various herbicides and pesticides to farmers and co-workers. They may make presentations to community groups to review the history of grain elevators and to highlight employment opportunities. (3)
  • Describe processes and procedures. For example, grain elevator operators describe the grade determinate system to farmers and explain why crops with low protein levels and high levels of contaminants receive lower grades. They provide farmers with directions for the mixing and application of products such as herbicides and pesticides. They also explain crop delivery procedures to haulers. (3)
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers. For example, talk to co-workers about upcoming shipments and deliveries and the outcomes of product grading activities. Grain elevator managers may discuss budgets, processes, timelines and regulatory and reporting requirements with other managers in their organizations. (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense claim amounts for travel and supplies. For example, calculate reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses such as meals and the use of personal vehicles at per kilometre rates. (2)
  • Calculate and verify invoice amounts. For example, calculate invoice amounts for products purchased. Multiply unit costs by quantities, apply bulk purchase discounts and add applicable taxes. Calculate invoice amounts for storage, processing and delivery services. Calculate volumes, weights, shrinkage quantities, distances and applicable taxes. Calculate payments to farmers for different volumes and grades of wheat, peas and other crops. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Prepare financial reports. For example, grain elevator managers may prepare financial reports to summarize revenues from the sales of products such as herbicides and pesticides. (2)
  • Establish production and shipment schedules. For example, grain elevator managers establish work schedules for workers under their supervision. They consider lead times, shipping times, costs and the availability of transport when developing shipping schedules. (3)
  • Establish and monitor operating and capital budgets. For example, grain elevator managers prepare operating budgets for elevator and farm supply operations. When setting budgets, they use historical, general and administrative cost data, forecasted crop yields and commodity prices. They may prepare budgets for grain elevator expansion projects which factor in costs of equipment, installation, labour and lost production. (4)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Take measurements and instrument readings. For example, measure temperature using thermometers, weight using scales and distance using odometers. Measure the moisture and protein contents of seeds and grains using moisture meters and grain analyzers. (1)
  • Calculate quantities of parts and materials needed for construction, maintenance and repair jobs. For example, calculate the number of paddles needed to repair damaged conveyors. (2)
  • Calculate capacities and loads. For example, determine the capacities of rectangular, cylindrical and conical silos. Calculate total weights of various truck boxes and rail cars containing grains and pulse crops of different densities. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare measurements and instrument readings to specifications. For example, compare moisture content measurements to specifications to determine whether shipments meet moisture standards. Compare measurements of grain protein to specifications to determine grades and classes. (1)
  • Verify instrument readings. For example, verify automated process control readings by comparing them to measurements and readings from independent gauges and digital displays. (2)
  • Manage inventories of supplies. For example, grain elevator managers reduce inventory counts when herbicides and pesticides are purchased by farmers. They may order and restock items to replace those that have been used. (2)
  • Generate and analyze production statistics. For example, grain elevator managers may generate statistics such as crop yields to describe the overall productivity of farmers. They may analyze the growth rates of wheat and the quality of their kernels to determine the effectiveness of herbicides. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the times required to load and unload grain shipments. Consider the capacities of the equipment, availabilities of staff and storage containers, and the volumes of grains to be moved. (2)
  • Estimate the weights of expected crop deliveries. For example, grain elevator managers consider historical tonnage statistics, crop reports, weather conditions, types of crops being grown by farmers and their maturations to estimate the tonnages requiring processing. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Grain elevator operators are responsible for planning and organizing their time to meet maintenance and production schedules. They must frequently adjust their work plans to make time to assist other team members and to address delays caused by adverse weather conditions, equipment failures and shortages of materials, supplies and labour. Grain elevator managers plan and coordinate the activities of co-workers and contractors. They plan and organize the activities of co-workers to meet production and maintenance deadlines. They also organize the activities of contractors to ensure the efficient and safe repair of faulty equipment. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide to stop, slow or speed up grain loading and unloading. For example, decide to halt the loading of grain due to system malfunctions and adverse weather conditions. (2)
  • Select suppliers and contractors. For example, grain elevator managers consider suppliers' products, pricing and timeliness of deliveries when sourcing repair parts. They select contractors by considering their trades, pricing, availabilities and certifications. (2)
  • Accept or reject crops delivered to elevators. Consider regulatory guidelines, the quality of crops and risks of contamination and insect infestations. (2)
  • Decide to hire, fire, promote and discipline workers. For example, grain elevator managers hire workers for full and part-time positions. (3)
  • Select procedures, equipment and settings for crop and seed processing tasks. For example, select the equipment settings best suited to process seed with high moisture content. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Grain shipments cannot be processed or products cannot be sold due to equipment breakdowns and product shortages. Complete other tasks until the equipment repairs are completed and the needed products arrive. Hire contractors to perform the repairs or troubleshoot and repair equipment yourself. (2)
  • Find that crops are unacceptable due to spoilage and high levels of contamination. Show farmers why crops do not meet quality standards. Segregate and purchase the usable portions of the crops and dispose of the rest. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about farmers. Review production histories and applications forms. Talk to farmers, co-workers and haulers. (2)
  • Find information about new products and equipment. Read trade magazines and marketing materials such as brochures. Discuss new products with farmers, suppliers, co-workers and colleagues and conduct research over the Internet. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the performance of contractors and employees. For example, grain elevator managers evaluate the performance of workers they supervise. They review employment records and gather data on days off, lateness for work and sick days taken. They recall instances of superior efforts and results. They evaluate the performance of contractors by considering their timeliness, prices and abilities. (2)
  • Evaluate the condition of equipment. Observe its operation, take measurements and listen for unusual noises. (2)
  • Judge the safety of work sites and procedures. Observe risks posed by machines such as conveyors and loading legs, and confirm that safety systems such as gates, guards and automatic switches are working properly. Consider opportunities for exposures to toxic materials such as pesticides and risks of explosions due to accumulations of combustible dust. (2)
  • Judge the effectiveness of products. For example, ask farmers about results achieved with various seed and herbicide combinations. (3)
  • Judge the quality of crops and seeds. Judge the quality of seeds and crops by taking measurements of protein, moisture and contamination, and observing colours, odours and other physical features. (3)
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