5 min read
Woman farmer with digital tablet on a background of harvesters.

The most obvious careers in agriculture are directly related to the farm or ranch. But did you know that only 10 percent of Americans are involved in traditional farming? What other careers are available in the agricultural field?

Approximately 22 million people now work in agriculture- related fields. Unlike the agriculture of our grandparents day, today’s agriculture offers more than 200 rewarding and challenging careers. The following are some of the major areas for careers in agriculture.

Agribusiness Management

Focuses on the managerial functions performed by organizations throughout the food system. Sample job titles include commodity trader, agricultural production specialist, purchasing manager, financial manager, farm owner and manager, and wholesale/retail buyer manufacturing manager. Companies that hire for these positions include Seneca Food Corporation, Ralston Purina Company, Sunshine Mills, Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, Dow Elanco, Alabama Farm Credit, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Mar-Jac Poultry.

Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications

Focuses on careers in journalism, public relations, and advertising/marketing. Sample job titles include marketing communications manager, district sales representative, advertising manager, reporter, editor, and account manager. Companies and entities that hire for these positions: Upjohn Company, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Michigan Milk Producers Association, National Dairy Council, and Alabama Farmers Federation.

Building Construction Management

Focuses on land development and structural buildings. Sample job titles include project manager, estimator, construction scheduler, controller, purchasing agent, site manager, field engineer, land developer, and real estate appraiser. Companies that hire for these positions include Tiffin Motorhomes, Southern Homes, Reinke Irrigation, and Southern AGCOM.

Agriscience

Provides a foundation for careers in agricultural and natural resources industries. Sample job titles include agriscience educator, Extension educator, farmer, and human resources director. Companies that hire for these positions include Crop Production Services, John Deere, and Gerber Company

Resource Development and Management

Focuses on policy analysis, planning, evaluation, budgeting, and program management. Sample job titles include environmental analyst, environmental planner, solid waste coordinator, water resource specialist, and economic development specialist. Companies and entities that hire for these positions include the Cooperative Extension Service, the Bear Creek Watershed, the National Park Service, Enviroscope, Senate and House Policy Offices, lobbying organizations, banking organizations, city and state governments, and hospitals.

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Resources

Focuses on planning and managing programs, areas, and facilities designed to meet people’s leisure needs and enhance quality of life. Sample job titles include park ranger, interpreter/naturalist, environmental educator, travel and convention planner, youth program director, camp counselor, park and recreation director, and tourism consultant. Companies and entities that hire for these positions include Hilton and Marriott Resorts, hospitals, YMCA, golf courses, Six Flags Great Adventure, and the Walt Disney Company.

Packaging

Focuses on food packaging, health care and pharmaceutical packaging, and industrial packaging. Sample job titles include packaging engineer, quality control coordinator, laboratory manager, and package designer. Companies that hire for these positions include Coca-Cola Company, Hershey Chocolate USA, Johnson and Johnson, 3M, IBM Corporation, and Amway Corporation.

Horticulture

Focuses on the science and art concerned with culture, marketing, and utilization of high-value, intensively cultivated fruits, flowers, vegetables, and ornamental plants. Sample job titles include retail manager, landscape designer, entrepreneur, florist, contractor, nursery grower, and nursery stock buyer. Companies that hire for these positions include Gerber, Ball Corporation, and Pan American Seed.

Forestry

Focuses on the science and art of managing natural resources on forest lands. Sample job titles include forester, forest ranger, consulting forester, district ranger, arborist, naturalist, timber buyer, and forest nursery manager. Companies and entities that hire for these positions include the Mead Corporation, John Hancock Financial Services, city governments, and the USDA Forest Service.

Food Science

Focuses on the development of new foods, investigation of new production and processing methods, and researches ways to ensure a safe, nutritious, and economical food supply. Sample job titles include food technician, laboratory technician, food chemist, and quality control manager. Companies that hire for these positions include Pepsicola, Kraft/General Foods, Hygrade Food Products, Kellogg Company, General Mills, Pillsbury, and Heinz USA.

Fisheries and Wildlife

Focuses on environmental management, conservation, and wildlife ecology and management. Sample job titles include land management specialist, water quality specialist, habitat specialist, and fish hatchery manager. Companies and entities that hire for these positions include US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, state and local divisions of surface water quality, land and water management, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Career Pathways

Various pathways are available for pursuing a career in agriculture. Explore the following options.

Agricultural Business

  • Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Advisor—Government/ Stakeholder Relations
  • Agricultural Financial Service Representative
  • Agricultural Lawyer Agricultural Legal Assistant
  • Agricultural Literacy and Advocacy Specialist
  • Agricultural Loan Officer
  • Agricultural Lobbyist
  • Agriculture Broadcaster
  • Agriculture Journalist
  • Agriculture Legislative Assistant
  • Agriculture Science Teachers– Secondary
  • Auditor Benefits Manager
  • Brand Manager
  • Budget Analyst
  • Career Counselor/Career Services Coordinator
  • Certified Appraiser
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • College Recruiter
  • Commodity Procurement/Merchandiser
  • Communications Specialist
  • Compensation Specialist
  • Controller
  • Corporate Recruiter
  • Credit Analyst
  • Crop Adjuster
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Data Processor
  • Dispatcher
  • Economist
  • Event Manager
  • Executive Assistant
  • Export Documentation Specialist
  • Export Sales Manager Extension Agent
  • Extension Youth Program Coordinator
  • Farm Business Manager/ Accountant
  • Feed Mill Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Fleet Manager
  • Grain Buyer
  • Grain Elevator Manager
  • Grain Marketing Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Human Resources Generalist
  • Information Technology (IT) App Developer
  • Information Technology (IT) Programmer
  • Information Technology (IT) Software Developer
  • Information Technology (IT) Specialist
  • Information Technology (IT) Web Developer
  • Information Technology Analyst
  • Information Technology Configurator
  • Intern
  • Inventory/Stock Specialist
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Office Manage
  • Patent Scientist/Patent Attorney
  • Payroll Administrator
  • Port Terminal Manager
  • Post-Secondary Educator College/ University Professor
  • Process/Continuous Improvement Manager
  • Procurement Specialist
  • Product Development Manager/ Demand Planner
  • Production Manager
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Purchasing Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Auditor
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Real Estate Manager
  • Receptionist
  • Retail Branch Manager
  • Risk Management Specialist
  • Sales Representatives– Food, Seed, Feed, Fuel
  • Sales Trainer
  • Shipping Coordinator
  • Social Media Strategist
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Warehouse Manager/ Facility Manager
  • Weighbridge/Receivable Associate

Agricultural Mechanics

  • Assembly Technician
  • Automation Coordinator/Technician
  • Carpenter/Laborer
  • Construction Foreman
  • Cotton Gin and Warehouse Manager
  • Dealer Services Representative
  • Design Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Electrician/Electronics Technician
  • Geospatial Analytics Scientist
  • Heavy Equipment Operator/ Forklift Operator
  • Hydraulics Technician
  • Livestock Hauler
  • Maintenance/Service Technician
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Parts Manager
  • Precision Agriculture Specialist
  • Rendering Truck Driver/ Rendering Maintenance
  • Sales Representative– Equipment and Ag Systems
  • Service Writer
  • Truck Driver
  • Welder

Animal Science

  • Animal Biotechnologist
  • Animal Geneticist
  • Animal Physical Therapist
  • Animal Welfare Specialist/Auditor
  • Apiary Worker/Beekeeper
  • Artificial Insemination Technician
  • Beef Farm Worker
  • Bloodstock Agent
  • Breed Association Representative
  • Breeding Manager/ Multiplication Manager
  • Butcher
  • Carcass Merchandiser
  • Carcass Ultrasound Technician
  • Dairy Farm Worker
  • Embryologist
  • Equine Chiropractor
  • Equine Therapist
  • Falconer
  • Farm Worker–Small Ruminant Farrier
  • Feed Mill Operator
  • Feedlot Manager
  • Fence Building/Repair
  • Food Animal Veterinarian Herdsman
  • Horse Trainer/Instructor
  • Large Animal Veterinarian
  • Livestock Auctioneer
  • Livestock Buyer
  • Livestock Geneticist
  • Livestock Grader
  • Livestock Hauler
  • Livestock Loader
  • Livestock Nutritionist
  • Livestock Sale Barn Manager
  • Meat Inspector
  • Penrider
  • Pet Groomer
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Poultry Farm Worker
  • Poultry Hatchery Manager
  • Poultry Production Supervisor
  • Pressure Washer Operator
  • Ranch Manager
  • Sales Representatives: Feed and Animal Health
  • Small Animal Veterinarian
  • Sow Farm Manager
  • Swine Finishing Farm Manager
  • Swine Nursery Worker
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Veterinary Pathologist

Environmental Services

  • Biosecurity Monitor
  • Climate Change Analyst
  • Ecologist
  • Energy Sales Specialist
  • Environmental Compliance Officer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technician
  • Environmental Scientist and Specialist
  • Fisheries Technician
  • Game Warden
  • Hydroponics Producer
  • Marine Biologist
  • Mine Engineer
  • Nematologist
  • Nutrient Management / Waste Management Specialist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Manager
  • Pest Control Adviser
  • Propane Sales and Delivery
  • Sanitation Coordinator
  • Toxicologist
  • Water Treatment Technician
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Wind Turbine Technician

Food Science

  • Evisceration Processor
  • Fermentation Scientist
  • Flavor Technologist
  • Food Chain Outreach Coordinator
  • Food Production Supervisor
  • Food Safety/ Quality Assurance Manager
  • Food Safety Specialist
  • Food Stylist
  • Food Technologist
  • Freezer/Refrigeration Specialist
  • Nutritionist/Dietitian
  • Packaging Engineer
  • Pricing Coordinator
  • Process Engineer
  • Produce Buyer
  • Produce Inspector
  • Product Development Food Scientist
  • R&D Technician
  • Slaughter Processor–Deboning
  • Slaughter Processor– General Operator
  • Slaughter Processor–Hanger/ Loader
  • Slaughter Processor–Packing Scales
  • Slaughter Processor–Trimming/ Cutting
  • Storage and Hygiene Coordinator

Natural Resources

  • Aquaculture Hatchery Manager
  • Aquaculturist
  • Biological Technician
  • Biorefining Specialist
  • Conservation Officer
  • Conservationist
  • Ethanol Engineer
  • Forester
  • Geologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Irrigation Specialist
  • Logger
  • Restoration Specialist
  • Saltwater Husbandry Technician
  • Sawmill Operator
  • Wildland Firefighter/ Fire Tower Watchman
  • Wind Substation Technician

Plant Science

  • Aerial Applicator/Ag Pilot Agronomist
  • Agronomy Sales and Management
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Arborist
  • Athletic Turf Manager
  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Biostatistician
  • Crop Adviser
  • Crop Scout
  • Crop Systems Specialist
  • Custom Applicator
  • Entomologist
  • Extension Faculty
  • Florist
  • Formulation Chemist
  • Golf Course Superintendent
  • Greenhouse Manager
  • Horticulturist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Landscape Designer
  • Landscape Technician
  • Microbiologist
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Plant Biologist
  • Plant Breeder
  • Plant Geneticist
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Plant Scientist/Field Agronomist
  • Regulatory Scientist
  • Research and Development Manager
  • Research Associates
  • Research Station Manager
  • Research Technician
  • Row Crop Producer/Farmer
  • Seed Production Agronomist
  • Seed Production Technician
  • Soil Scientist
  • Viticulturist
  • Weed Scientist

 

Download a PDF of Careers in Agriculture, FCS-2473.

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