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2021 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 On The Rise

#148 Most Popular Major
3.6k Degrees Awarded
2.6% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, general agriculture was the 148th most popular major nationwide with 3,551 degrees awarded. This represents a 2.6% increase in agriculture degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 3,457.

There are 145 schools offering degrees in general agriculture in the United States. This year's Best Colleges for General Agriculture ranking compares 26 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. 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.

Agriculture Degree Program Entry Requirements

general agriculture degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific agriculture careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of General Agriculture Degrees

Agriculture degree levels vary. General Agriculture programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest agriculture degree you can get. The type of agriculture degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

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 (research / scholarship) is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to agriculture, with approximately 39.8% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for agriculture workers below.

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 degree (research / scholarship). View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in general agriculture careers have.

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

Career Opportunities for Agriculture Majors

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?

General Agriculture graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $33,257 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. 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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High Paying Careers for Agriculture Majors

Salaries for general agriculture graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 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 269 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.

General Agriculture is one of 13 different types of Agriculture & Agriculture Operations programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to Agriculture

Related Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,910
Animal Science 7,814
Horticulture 4,451
Agricultural Production 3,536
Plant Sciences 3,278

View All Agriculture Related Majors >

References

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