Agriculture involves working with livestock and crops to produce food, while also learning about animal care and processing techniques. Continue reading to learn about career opportunities and degree options in the field to determine if it's a good fit for you.

Inside Agriculture

As one of the United States' oldest industries, agriculture is an important facet of the U.S. economy. Without it, families would go without bread, fruit, vegetables, milk, meat and just about every other type of food. Agricultural positions vary, but they usually fall under two main areas - animal farming and crop farming.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), agriculture attracts people who like to work with animals, enjoy living an independent lifestyle and prefer to work outdoors on the land ( The BLS also noted that becoming a farmer does not require formal training or credentials, but knowledge of agricultural production is essential. Experience and some formal education are usually necessary for agricultural managers; however, bachelor's degrees in business with a concentration in agriculture provide a good background.

With a degree in agriculture, you can pursue a number of career opportunities. Whether you're interested in learning more about your job options, the degree programs or distance learning, has the resources that can help you make informed decisions.

Education Options

Agriculture degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels of study. The following pages outline the degree requirements, what you'll learn and the top schools offering degree programs in agriculture.

Distance Learning

Whether you're interested in pursuing an online degree or individual courses in agriculture, there are several options that can meet your needs. However, due to the nature of the field, distance learning programs and courses may have certain in-person requirements. Explore the following articles for additional information on distance learning opportunities in agriculture.

Career Options

A degree in agriculture can lead to a number of career opportunities depending on the degree level you attain and your personal interests. The following are a small sample of career opportunities available to prospective agricultural professionals.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS estimated that from 2012-2022, jobs for agricultural and food scientists should increase by 9%. During the same decade, employment of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers was expected to decrease by 19%. As of May 2013, animal scientists made a median annual salary of $64,260, soil and plant scientists made $58,990, and food scientists and technologists made $59,630 (BLS). The median salary among farmers and ranchers was $70,110 in 2013.

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