Login
Copyright

How to Become an Agricultural Engineer: Career Guide

Learn how to become an agricultural engineer. Research the education requirements, licensure information, and experience required for starting a career in agricultural engineering. View article »

View 10 Popular Schools »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
 Replay
  • 00:01 Essential Information
  • 1:05 Bachelor's Degree
  • 3:15 Earn Licensure
  • 3:47 Get Certified
  • 4:15 Gain Experience

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Should I Become an Agricultural Engineer?

Agricultural engineers develop and design new procedures, tools, and systems for agricultural products and environments. Engineers in this field may work to solve environmental issues pertaining to agriculture, or they may specialize in bioprocess technology. They often must travel to worksites to observe whether processes and equipment are working correctly.

These professionals work both indoors and out. Their work can depend on the weather or growing seasons, so sometimes agricultural engineers must work long hours to take advantage of the right conditions.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field(s) Agricultural or biological engineering
Licensure and/or Certification A license as a professional engineer (P.E.) is required in order to offer services to the public
Experience Some years of practical experience; licensure typically requires at least four years
Key Skills Critical thinking, listening, mathematics, problem solving, proficiency with specialized tools and technology
Mean Annual Salary(2015)* $78,490

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
  • Ceramic Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Drafting and Design Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
  • Engineering - Architectural
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Engineering
  • Geological Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Math
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Mining Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Plastics Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Systems Engineering
  • Textile Technologies

Step 1: Pursue a Bachelor's Degree

Employers often require agricultural engineers to have a bachelor's degree from an engineering program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). An undergraduate program in agricultural engineering typically has coursework in calculus, physics with calculus applications, and biology. Agriculture-specific courses may include soil mechanics, environmental microclimatology, ocean and atmospheric dynamics, hydrology, geology, and soil physics.

The curriculum for a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering will generally have a focus on the technology used in agricultural processes. Several topics covered in programs like these include power and machinery systems, storage, ventilation and cooling systems, product processing, spraying techniques, irrigation and drainage management, and agribusiness. In addition to studying these topics, students might be expected to complete a capstone project their senior year, where they work on practical design projects with faculty or cooperating industry members.

Success Tips:

Many agricultural engineering programs offer cooperative education or internship programs in the agricultural industry. This can help provide the real-world experience required for state licensure. Internships usually take place during the course of a semester, and the employer usually evaluates students on a regular basis. Examples of internships include working in an agricultural equipment shop, working at a farm, or assisting with irrigation design.

Graduates of an undergraduate program in agricultural engineering might considering pursing a master's degree. A graduate degree in agricultural engineering offers a chance to further specialize within the field. A master's program is likely to focus on research, allowing the student the ability to show an understanding of a particular aspect of agricultural engineering, which may allow for greater employment opportunities within that specialty. A master's degree also might allow an individual to work in more research-related positions in the field of agricultural engineering.

Step 2: Become Licensed

Agricultural engineers are generally required to obtain state licensing. Most states follow the licensing requirements set forth by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The council designed a professional engineer (PE) licensing exam specifically for those specializing in agriculture. Requirements for the NCEES exam include graduation from a degree program accredited by ABET and work experience.

Step 3: Become Certified

A few states and professional organizations offer certification opportunities for engineers. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies offers certification in general engineering technology and several engineering specialties, such as geotechnical, land management, and industrial instrumentation. Requirements vary by certification type, but typically include an engineering degree, work experience, and professional endorsements.

Step 4: Gain Experience

Once agricultural engineers have garnered experience they can begin to take on more responsibility on more challenging projects, becoming supervisors and engineering managers. Additionally, they can also transfer their field experience and knowledge into an agricultural equipment sales position.

In summary, becoming an agricultural engineer typically requires earning at least a bachelor's degree and getting licensed. Professional certification and experience could lead to advanced positions in agricultural engineering.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MS in Bioinformatics
    • MS in Biotechnology
    • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Biotechnology Education

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Graduate Biology Certificate

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your age?

    • BS in Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology
    • BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology
    • ASAST in Nuclear Engineering Technology

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology (Nuclear Leadership)
    • BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology (Without Concentration)
    • BS in Technology (Nuclear Technologies)
    • BS in Technology (Power Plant Technologies)
    • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Technology Management (Nuclear Technology)
    • Nuclear Engineering Technology / MBA dual degree
    • AAS in Technical Studies (Nuclear Technologies/Power Plant Technologies)
    • AS in Science in Technology (Power Plant Technologies)

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?