Agricultural & Food Science Technicians Careers: Employment & Salary Trends for Aspiring Agricultural & Food Science Technicians

Agricultural & Food Science Technicians at a Glance

Agricultural & food science technicians assist agricultural scientists with animal research and breeding as well as production and processing of animals, food, and fiber. They help in all areas of nutrition, testing, and experimentation under the supervision of agricultural scientists. Agricultural & food science technicians assist in testing and experimentation in order to protect animals and plants from disease, parasites, and insects. This helps build up resistance to disease and insects, which improves output and the quality of our nation’s crops.

Agricultural & food science technicians work in educational services, for food processing companies and in manufacturing. They also work in the areas of chemical manufacturing and in agriculture at federal, state, and local levels. Currently, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota report the highest concentration of workers in this field.  

Employment Trends

Job Outlook: Average increase
Annual Openings: 1,000
Percent Growth: 13.4%
Total Jobs Held: 26,000
Projected Employment: 6,000 by 2016
The Best 500 Jobs Overall Ranking:  No Data

Source: “Best Jobs for the 21st Century,” JIST Publishing 2009. Farr, Michael and Shatkin, Laurence, Ph.D.; “Salary Facts Handbook,” JIST Publishing 2008. Editors @ JIST.

Aspiring agricultural & food science technicians can expect average employment growth in this field as a result of individuals that may be leaving the field, retiring, or advancing to other positions. Many agricultural & food science technicians eventually advance to agricultural & food scientists, animal scientists, food scientists & technologists, or soil and plant scientists.

The field is also expected to grow thanks to advances in agricultural research, emerging biotechnologies, and a growing need for biofuels and many other agricultural commodities. Aspiring agricultural & food science technicians with a bachelor’s degree or higher can expect the highest number of opportunities in this field.

Salary Trends

Agricultural & food science technicians earn an average salary of $33,700 per year. Agricultural & food science technicians in the 90th percentile can expect to earn around $49,270 per year, while 75th percentile agricultural & food science technicians can expect to earn $39,870 per year. Entry-level agricultural & food science technicians can expect to earn a starting salary of around $20,850 per year.

Degrees and Training Programs

Most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree or higher in agricultural science, although an associate degree is acceptable. Currently, 31% of all agricultural & food science technicians have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 20% of all agricultural & food science technicians have an associate degree and 23.3% have some college but no degree. These individuals may have a certificate in agricultural science or related field.

Aspiring agricultural & food science technicians may earn a bachelor’s degree or higher at most four-year colleges and universities. In addition, these individuals may complete an internship and obtain certification through continuing education.

Coursework Required

Aspiring agricultural & food science technicians are required to take a number of chemistry courses as well as courses such as biology, economics, physiology, nutrition, food production and processing, English, computer science, math, writing, basic public speaking, and communications.

Did you know that there are more cows in the United States than people? If so, it should come as no surprise that cows produce about thirty percent of the methane in the atmosphere!

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