Field of Study Overview

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.

Required Skills

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.

Careers

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.

Depending on your specific career, the job growth in this field appears to be growing at a pace about average or slower than average. Average starting salary is $35,680 with a mid-career salary of $68,849.

Field at a Glance

  • Yearly Graduations
    21,346
    (online) 636
    (associate) 1,363
    (bachelor) 19,983
  • Average Starting Salary
    $36,000
  • Average Mid-Career Salary
    $69,000

Explore Top Majors in this Field

Click Major to View Top CollegesPopularitySalary PotentialMajors Matcher
Agricultural Economics & Business High Good N/A
Agricultural Mechanization Average N/AN/A
Agricultural Production Average N/AN/A
Agricultural Public Services Average N/AN/A
Agriculture (Other) Low N/AN/A
Animal Science High Poor N/A
Animal Services Low N/AN/A
Food Processing Low N/AN/A
Food Science Technology Average Best N/A
General Agriculture High Fair N/A
Horticulture Average Low N/A
International Agriculture Low N/AN/A
Plant Sciences High N/AN/A
Soil Sciences Low N/AN/A

College Ranking by Field of Study

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this field
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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