Agriculture Teacher: Education Requirements and Career Info

Agriculture teachers require significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Agriculture teachers can be found in public schools, technical schools, adult and business education programs, colleges, universities and state-run farmer training programs. They teach a variety of subjects, such as horticulture, animal and plant science, agricultural chemicals and agricultural technology. Career requirements generally include a college degree and agricultural experience. Middle and high school teachers in public schools need teacher licensure and specialty certification.

Career Titles Secondary School Agriculture Teacher Postsecondary Agriculture Teacher
Required Education Bachelor's degree with teacher education program Master's in agricultural education or bachelor's degree in relevant field with a graduate certificate in agricultural education
Other Requirements Public school teachers need a teaching license N/A
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 5% for all secondary school technical and career education teachers 19% for all postsecondary teachers
Median Salary (2013)* $55,120 for all secondary school technical and career education teachers $83,060 for postsecondary agriculture teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Education Requirements

Requirements for agriculture teachers vary, but most states require at least a bachelor's degree for those wanting to work at the middle and high school levels. Typically, the degree should be in the field of agriculture with coursework in subjects like agricultural mechanics, forestry/wildlife management and agriculture management. Agriculture teachers who want to work in public schools also might have to finish a state-accredited teacher training program. Most states require teachers working in middle and high schools to obtain a teacher's license and receive certification in agriculture teaching.

Agriculture teachers who want to work on the college or professional level might have to complete a graduate education program. Some universities offer graduate certificate programs in agricultural education for those who already possess a bachelor's degree in fields like agriculture, forestry or wildlife management. There also are master's programs in agricultural education, which include advanced study in areas such as agribusiness, agriculture ethics and agricultural technology. Master's programs in agriculture education often include teaching internships and may allow students to specialize in adult education, state extension programs or public education.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of both middle school and high school technical and career education teachers, including agriculture teachers, is expected to grow at a rate of 5% between 2012 and 2022. However, the National Association of Agricultural Educators indicated in 2013 that there was a nationwide shortage of educators specializing in agriculture, mainly at the high school level (www.naee.org). The growth rate for postsecondary teachers of all types was projected at 19% for this period.

In 2013, the BLS reported that the median income for technical and career education teachers working at the secondary school level was $55,120. Postsecondary-level teachers of agricultural sciences earned a median salary of $83,060 per year; those teaching in junior colleges earned lower wages, averaging $58,750 annually in 2013.

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