Agricultural Scientist Salary Guide [Salary & Career 2021]

Agricultural Science

Average Salary for an agricultural scientist is $62,910

Agricultural Scientist Salary Stats

MEDIAN SALARY – $62,910  

 TYPICAL HOURS – 40-45hr Weekdays


NUMBER OF JOBS – 43,700 

EDUCATION – DEGREE / Certification 

GENDER RATIO – Male 65 % to Female 35 %

What Is an Agricultural Scientist?

[su_note note_color=”#1056b5″]An agricultural scientist is also known as an agronomist.  An agronomist is generally going to be any person who spends their career studying and working with agriculture. [/su_note]

The first thing we should distinguish agronomy from is agriculture.  While agronomy is the study of agriculture, it is not the practice of agriculture.  So a farmer can be practising agriculture but is not necessarily an agronomist (though the farmer becomes one as soon as he or she starts studying what they are doing, and certainly an amount of agronomy is involved in any farming).  The two directly complement each other, but the names should explain what their functions are:  agricultural science is the scientific study, while agriculture is the actual planting of crops or maintenance of cattle or other animals for human consumption purposes.

Other than that, the restrictions of agricultural science only lay in the boundaries, “is it about agriculture?”  And that’s about it.  This study can be on anything regarding agriculture, though it is typically going to be on the growth side.  Therefore, biogenetics is extremely big in agriculture these days.  Genetically engineering a crop to yield more or resist certain pests has been a field that has boomed in recent years, as it has made it so that certain crops which used to not be profitable if grown in certain places.  Now, these crops, which may have been essential food sources in the area they couldn’t be grown because of pests or a change in climate or whatever – can now be produced in that area.  This is probably where the most money is because a lot of major agribusinesses have been patenting genes of certain pest-resistant crops, which makes them unbelievable amounts of money.

What are the duties of Agricultural Scientist?

Agricultural Scientist Salaries

You can also be involved in the production of meats and eggs from livestock and farm animals.  The idea with a lot of these is to try and produce as much meat and eggs as possible.  Of course, now, there are a lot of ethical issues rising up about these chickenhouses, and that has led to the free-range and organic movements, which attempt to use untreated crops as the basic source of food.  You could work in this as well, and in this case, bioethics would be a type of agricultural science.

Then you could be a biochemist and try and find new fertilizers, or safer, cheaper insecticides, or anything that would protect any catastrophes from depriving people of food.  A lot of the chemistry going on is going to make you a decent amount as well.  And then, of course, there are the more social science-based agronomy fields.  You can study the growth and transportation of crops and food, you can study famines, you can study food trends among nations, and you can study a bunch of other things along these lines, such as the history of agriculture, and how different food trends have influenced civilization over time.

Types of agricultural and food scientists:

Animal scientists typically conduct research on domestic farm animals. With a focus on food production, they explore animal genetics, nutrition, reproduction, diseases, growth, and development.

Food scientists and technologists use chemistry, biology, and other sciences to study the basic elements of food. They analyze the nutritional content of food, discover new food sources, and research ways to make processed foods safe and healthy.

Plant scientists work to improve crop yields and advise food and crop developers about techniques that could enhance production. They may develop ways to control pests and weeds.

Soil scientists examine the composition of soil, how it affects plant or crop growth, and how alternative soil treatments affect crop productivity. They develop methods of conserving and managing soil that farmers and forestry companies can use.

Important Qualities for Agricultural Scientist?

  • Critical-thinking skills.
  • Data-analysis skills.
  • Observation skills.

What Kind of Education Is Required?

This isn’t a regulated field in a lot of cases, so technically, you don’t NEED any education to be an agronomist.  That said, you aren’t going to get jobs without usually having some sort of post-secondary degree.  The high school generally doesn’t cut it here.

You can get a bachelors degree in any number of disciplines in agricultural science, and often, that will do it, you’ll be able to get a job with just that.  You can, of course, get master’s degrees and PhDs in a number of these disciplines as well, and these will generally make you more money as you get more education.  Of course, as we have said, you can be an agronomist simply by being a farmer and making empirical observations about crop growth and attempting to adjust how you grow your crops accordingly.

Agricultural and food scientists can get certifications from organizations such as the American Society of Agronomy, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), or the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and others. These certifications recognize expertise in agricultural and food science, and enhance the status of those who are certified.

What Is the Typical Agricultural Science Salary?

Agricultural Scientist Salary 1

This all, of course, depends on what you do.  If you are an academic, you will probably get paid a decent amount to work at a university, and if you are a scientist working for a company, you will get paid relatively well, depending on what you do for the company and how much of a benefit it is to them.  That said, the average salary for a starting agronomist is around $40,000, with the minimum and maximum being $6,000 less or more, respectively.  Then as you work for a longer time, the salary goes up over time.  For example, after 20 years, most agronomists make at and generally, they will make up to $75,000 on average.  There are obviously outliers in either direction, but that’s generally what you’ll make.  We generally find that the highest paid workers work for universities, the government, and then businesses.  This shouldn’t be a huge surprise because, while companies tend to have the most money, they also hire the most bachelor’s students, whereas universities tend to hire people with Master’s degrees or doctorates.

You are also more likely to get a job with a high degree level in most government jobs.  That said, there are a ton of bachelor’s level jobs out there, they just pay less, and they are available at companies.  So, QED.  Anyway, you can make more with experience, better jobs, reputation, and the type of degree you have.  These are true of all jobs, really, and are the key to making the money you want to make.  So get out there and find a job in agricultural science

More Info Agricultural Science:

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