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An Agricultural Engineer works in the farming, natural resource, and wildlife industries. They work to make agricultural production and processing more effective and efficient while making the environment cleaner and safer for people and animals. It's not all about growing corn or raising cows, agricultural engineers use technology to develop biofuels like using algae to generate power, implement GPS and GIS satellite technology in farm machinery and how to plant crop land for the greatest production, and use bugs to grow heartier crops. Agricultural engineers also use their knowledge and skills to plan better habitat for wildlife and conserve our natural resources like water and woodlands.
An agricultural engineer's education requires at least a bachelor's degree from an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited university program. Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas, has one of the largest and best Agricultural Engineering programs in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. That program has been in existence since 1891 and includes courses in biological and physical sciences, math, and engineering principles and design.
After graduation, it should not be hard for an agricultural engineer to find a job. The average starting salary is $51-55,000 and increases to an average of $90,000 after a few years of experience. There are approximately 2600 agricultural engineering jobs in the U.S. and the job growth rate is about 9%. There will always be a need for agricultural engineers since ag products are a necessity for life. And, with population growth and shrinking crop lands, the need for agricultural engineers will continue to increase in order to develop better ways to grow and process ag products.
Being an Agricultural Engineer would appeal to those who enjoy the outdoors and farming or ranching and who want to find ways to make peoples lives better through solving agricultural related problems.
RELATED CAREER OPTIONS
- Agriculture and Food Scientists
- Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, and Environmental Engineers
- Farmers, Ranchers, and Wildlife Managers
WHY I SHOULD BE AN AGRICULTURAL ENGINEER
I am interested in Agricultural Engineering because I love the outdoors, wildlife, and agriculture. I would be good at this job because I am good at math and problem solving. I have a passion for the outdoors and wildlife. I have always wanted to create better habitat for wildlife and livestock and find the best ways to use and conserve natural resources. My passions, interests, and skills will make me a great agricultural engineer.