2022 General Agriculture Degree Guide

If you enjoy working outdoors to maintain crops and livestock, a degree in general agriculture might be for you.

While working towards this degree, you will take a wide array of classes. You will learn how to grow and maintain crops through the use of machinery and physical labor along with the environmental, scientific, and political issues around feeding the general population. Since agriculture is such a wide major, many schools often require students to narrow their area of study and focus on a specific section of agriculture. Possible areas of focus include horticulture, agricultural economics, entomology, and animal science.

General Agriculture Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#148 Most Popular Major
3.2k Degrees Awarded
-6.6% Increase in Graduates

In 2019-2020, general agriculture was the 148th most popular major nationwide with 3,242 degrees awarded. This 214 less than the prior year, a decrease of 6.6%.

The United States has 176 different schools where you can get a degree in general agriculture. Our 2022 Best General Agriculture Schools ranking analyzes 80 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for general agriculture students. Explore this or one of our many other custom agriculture rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in General Agriculture

Those who pursue a career in agriculture enjoy working outdoors and getting their hands dirty. Agriculture is a physically strenuous job and can require long hours. It often does not follow the typical 40-hour work week. Employers are looking for hard workers who are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to ensure a successful harvest. You will be required to work directly with the different crops or animals and implement different techniques for growing and harvesting food.

This field will require knowledge of heavy machinery used in farming along with the ability to perform physical, labor-intensive tasks. A science background would be beneficial to understand the properties of crops and how they interact with certain chemicals. If you plan on working with livestock, you must have a background in animal science.

Since many jobs in agriculture come with on-the-job training, a degree is not always necessary. However, if you plan to work as an animal breeder or with livestock, employers will require either extensive experience and training or a degree. Before deciding on a career in agriculture, it is best to experience the career through a summer job, internship, Co-op or work abroad program.

Prior Education for an Agriculture Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most agriculture degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional agriculture certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

General Agriculture Degree Types

There are various different levels of agriculture degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a in general agriculture to something that takes less time like a . Depending on the general agriculture 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 doctor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to agriculture, with approximately 39.8% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to agriculture tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 39.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 24.8%
Master’s Degree 21.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 11.9%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 2.0%

About 52.1% of workers in careers related to agriculture obtain at least doctor's degrees. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in general agriculture careers have.

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This of course varies depending on which agriculture career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Agriculture Graduate

Below Average Number of Jobs
$33.3k Average Starting Salary
7% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Agriculture will provide you with a wide array of skills to perform the tasks necessary to ensure the successful operation of a farm. Agricultural workers will work directly with livestock or crops under the guidance of the agricultural manager. You will operate the necessary machinery to plant, grow, and harvest crops while working with others to ensure all tasks are performed successfully and efficiently.

Growth Projected for Agriculture Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your agriculture degree? General Agriculture careers are expected to grow 7.4% between 2016 and 2026.

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

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Soil and Plant Scientists 21,700 9.0%
Food Scientists and Technologists 18,000 5.9%
Agricultural Sciences Professors 13,600 7.9%
Animal Scientists 6,400 4.9%

How Much Money Do Agriculture Grads Make?

Recently graduated general agriculture students earned an average of $33,257 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $17,200 to as high as $44,300. As you might expect, salaries for agriculture graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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Highest Paid Agriculture Careers

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

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors $90,890
Food Scientists and Technologists $72,570
Soil and Plant Scientists $70,630
Animal Scientists $67,690

Getting Your General Agriculture Degree

With over 225 different agriculture 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 school rankings to help you with this.

One of 16 majors within the Agriculture & Agriculture Operations area of study, General Agriculture has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Agriculture

Related Major Annual Graduates
Animal Science 7,900
Agricultural Economics & Business 7,547
Veterinary/Animal Health Technologies/Technicians 4,816
Plant Sciences 3,094
Agricultural Production 2,272

View All Agriculture Related Majors >

References

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