Unsurprisingly, these workers have a lot to do and they typically work full time. And if they can’t make it to work because of the weather, they ain’t joking – their schedules may vary because of weather conditions or other complications. When working on outdoor projects, agricultural engineers may work more hours to take advantage of good weather or fewer hours in case of bad weather. So you better hope the weather is nice!
But that’s not all – agricultural engineers may need to be available outside of normal work hours to address unexpected problems that come up in manufacturing operations or rural construction projects. So, these guys and gals are pretty much like agricultural superheroes: they have to be on hand in case something goes wrong so they can use their agrucultural/engineering super powers!
Employment of agricultural engineers is projected to grow 5% from 2018 to 2028 (about as fast as the average for all jobs). That means there will be about 100 more jobs available for agricultural engineers throughout this next decade! Although that may not seem like a lot, the growing demand for engery efficiency and reduced environmental damage should maintain demand for these workers. But that’s not all – their job can get pretty exciting! Some projects that agricultural engineers have recently been working on include discovering alternative energy and biofuels, automated farming technology, and most exciting of all, how to grow food in space for future exploration!
Is there anything else I need to know in order to become an agricultural engineer?
We’ve covered almost everything about agricultural engineers including their salary, work schedule, job outlook, work environment, and education! Here are some common questions that one might ask about what it takes to become an agricultural engineer!
How long does it take to become an agricultural engineer?
Agricultural engineers must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in agricultural engineering or biological engineering. This college degree typically takes about 4 years for full-time students to earn. Many colleges and universities also encourage students to gain practical experience through projects as well. After you have completed your education, you can go directly into the workforce and work at an entry-level job as an agricultural engineer. Although a license isn’t required for entry-level workers, you may consider getting a Professional Engineer (PE) license later on in your career.
What are the best colleges to go to if I want to become an agricultural engineer?
There are many colleges that offer great programs for students that are interested in becoming agricultural engineers including the following;
- Iowa State University
- Purdue University – West Lafayette
- Cornell University
- University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Texas A&M University – College Station
- University of California – Davis
- University of Florida
- North Carolina State University
- Ohio State University
- University of Nebraska – Lincoln
- Michigan State University
- University of Maryland – College Park
Do I have to have to go to college in order to become an agricultural engineer?
Yes, agricultural engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in order to get a job in the workforce. If college is out of the question for you due to financial circumstances, there are plently of options out there for you to get an education! Many universities offer scholarships that can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Also, now there are plenty of online degrees that students can complete from the comfort of their own home (without the expense of dormitory housing!). If you’d prefer to stay local, there are many community colleges that also offer degrees and they are generally much less expensive than universities.
How many women are agricultural engineers compared to men?
Although the exact ratio of men to women for this occupation is uncertain, it was found that 61.7% of graduates with a degree in agricultural engineering are male. So although this occupation is slightly dominated by men, it is generally equal for both genders.
How do I know if becoming an agricultural engineer is right for me?
As exciting as this job may seem, it is a lot of work – just like any other career in the workforce! If you are unsure if becoming an agricultural engineer is right for you, learn about it as much as you can! This career typically favors those who are interested in mathamatics, science, and agriculture. Although, you are in control of your future so it is up to you what you’d like to become!