Agricultural Scientists

Agricultural scientists study all aspects of living organisms and the relationships of plants and animals to their environment. They conduct basic research in laboratories or in the field. They apply the results to such tasks as increasing crop and animal yields and improving the environment. Some agricultural scientists plan and administer programs for testing foods, drugs, and other products. Others direct activities at public exhibits at such places as zoos and botanical gardens. Agricultural engineers apply engineering principles to the food and agriculture industries. They design or develop agricultural equipment and machines, supervise production, and conduct tests on new designs and machine parts. Some agricultural scientists are professors at colleges and universities or work as consultants to business firms or the government. Others work in technical sales and service jobs for manufacturers of agricultural products. There are approximately 15,480 animal and soil and plant scientists and 2,590 agricultural engineers in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Agricultural Engineers, Agronomists, Animal Breeders, Animal Scientists, Botanists, Dairy Scientists, Food Scientists, Food Technologists, Horticulturists, Plant Breeders, Plant Pathologists, Poultry Scientists, Soil Scientists
Duties Study all aspects of living organisms and the relationships of plants and animals to their environment; use biotechnology to improve crop and animal yields
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctorate
School Subjects
  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Math
  • Scientific
  • Writing
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Research Program Supervisor or College Professor
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Science Technician

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