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Earnings Potential

The median salary for a typical agricultural inspector in the United States in $36,460.  The median salary for a United States Botanist is $55,230, $34,440 for a Farm Equipment Mechanic, and $37,802 for a Nursery/Greenhouse manager.  These are some average salaries for specific fields in Agriculture.

Facts at a Glance

  • More than 8 out of 10 agricultural workers are farm workers and laborers.
  • Agricultural workers held about 834,000 jobs in 2004.
  • Graders and sorters held about 45,000 jobs, agricultural inspectors 14,000 jobs, agricultural equipment operators 60,000 jobs, and animal breeders 12,000 jobs
  • More than 66 percent of all agricultural workers worked for crop and livestock producers, while more than 5 percent worked for agricultural service providers, mostly farm labor contractors.

Summary of what this Career Entails

Agricultural workers play a large role in getting food, plants, and other agricultural products to market.  Working mostly on farms or ranches or in nurseries, slaughterhouses, or ports of entry, these workers have numerous and diverse duties. Among their activities are planting and harvesting crops, installing irrigation, delivering animals, and making sure that our food is safe and sanitary. 

Examples and or Details of Work

Details that comprise ones work in the field of agriculture vary greatly.  On one end of the spectrum, an individual can have an office job that tracks the shipping of a particular product, and on the other hand one can have a job seeding fields.  This type of work is seasonal for farm workers in nurseries; spring and summer are the busiest times of the year.  It all depends on an individual’s preference. 

Degrees that lead to this Career

Accredited Universities and Colleges offer degrees in Agricultural Biology, Agricultural Economics & Agricultural Business, Agricultural & Extension Education, Agronomy, Agribusiness Management, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Agricultural and Extension Education, Agricultural Science, and Agricultural Systems Management

Specific Career Openings in this Field

Depending on areas of concentration, career areas would include entry level jobs in horticulture, farm worker, ranch hand, farm mechanic, veterinary technician, etc.  Students graduating with a B.S. in General Agriculture have the flexibility to prepare for a variety of agricultural career fields, including production agriculture, agri-business, or community leadership in agriculture. Graduates go on to pursue jobs as diverse as farm or ranch managers, teachers, lobbyists, commodity liaison persons, and extension staff.