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2021 Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Degree Guide

The production and selling of food is a huge industry and the majors available within this field of study reflect that. Students with a business bent may be interested in Agricultural Economics & Business, while those who are interested in raising livestock may choose a major in Animal Science. Others may be interested in studying Applied Horticulture or Food Science. There are many more majors in this field you can further explore.

Some Ag students grew up on or worked on a farm, however you don't need to have grown up on a farm in order to succeed in an agriculture career. Students in agriculture go on to find jobs in multiple areas. Many run their own farms or ranches; or they may manage a larger company's agricultural business. Others work for companies as food scientists or lab technicians, communication managers or public relation experts. Agriculture graduates also find work in environmental research for the public or private sector.

A Spike in Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Degrees

#23 Most Popular Major
38.5k Degrees Awarded
3.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, agriculture and agriculture operations was the 23rd most popular major nationwide with 38,513 degrees awarded. This represents a 3.3% increase in agriculture and agriculture operations degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 37,231.

Approximately 579 colleges in the U.S. offer a agriculture and agriculture operations degree of some kind. This year's Best Colleges for Agriculture & Agriculture Operations ranking compares 98 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of agriculture and agriculture operations programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Agriculture & Agriculture Operations

Because of the wide range of majors available, students of many different interests are drawn to and can succeed in this field. Strong science skills are recommended. Students may also want to gain work experience through part-time jobs, internships or co-op positions.

Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional agriculture and agriculture operations certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Degrees

There are many different agriculture and agriculture operations degree levels. You can get anything from a associate's degree in agriculture and agriculture operations to the highest agriculture and agriculture operations degree, a professional practice doctorate. Depending on the agriculture and agriculture operations degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to agriculture and agriculture operations, with approximately 26.3% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for agriculture and agriculture operations workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 24.4%
High School Diploma 21.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate 11.5%
Doctoral Degree 9.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.6%

Most workers in agriculture and agriculture operations have at least a associate's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in agriculture and agriculture operations have received.


The education level required is different depending on the agriculture and agriculture operations career you are seeking.

Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$34.9k Average Starting Salary
5% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Those in the agricultural field fill a variety of positions in both the public and private sector. We may traditionally think of the farmer managing his own farm, but there are many more opportunities. Individuals may work as horticulture specialists cultivating flowers, fruits and vegetables. This can also be a great field of study for those interested in environmental issues. Agriculture grads find positions as Environmental Analysts and Planners, Waste Coordinators, Water Resource Specialists, and Park Rangers and Foresters, or they may find jobs researching water quality and wildlife.

Fields in food science include researchers, food chemists and lab technicians. These individuals may work for large food companies or invent new flavors or methods of processing food.

As you can see, this is a diverse and fascinating field. What part of agriculture are you most passionate about? Whether it's finding more effective methods of growing crops, researching the health of soil and water, caring for livestock or running your own business there is a wide variety in the career field.

Growth Projected for Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your agriculture and agriculture operations degree? Agriculture & Agriculture Operations careers are expected to grow 5.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to agriculture and agriculture operations.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Retail Sales Supervisors 1,590,100 3.8%
Office and Administrative Support Worker Supervisors 1,557,400 3.4%
Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers 1,020,700 -0.8%
Computer User Support Specialists 708,700 11.3%
Animal Caretakers 300,000 24.2%

Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Degree Salary Potential

Agriculture & Agriculture Operations graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $34,886 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $13,600 to as high as $79,400. As you might expect, salaries for agriculture and agriculture operations graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Careers

Salaries for agriculture and agriculture operations graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers agriculture and agriculture operations grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Economists $116,020
Forestry & Conservation Science Professors $92,550
Agricultural Sciences Professors $90,890
Microbiologists $81,150
Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers $79,940

Getting Your Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Degree

With over 3,911 different agriculture and agriculture operations degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased agriculture and agriculture operations school rankings to help you with this.

Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,910
Animal Science 7,814
Horticulture 4,451
General Agriculture 3,551
Agricultural Production 3,536

View All Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer & Information Sciences 220,337
Engineering 200,684
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 162,961
Engineering Technologies 92,549
Physical Sciences 53,556

View All Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Related Majors >


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