Who is an Agricultural Engineer?
Agricultural engineers are professionals responsible for the optimization of agricultural production. This is, however, due to the use of multiple scientific tools.
The profession of an agricultural engineer is broad. Thanks to their technical and scientific knowledge, they assist farmers.
The relevance of agricultural engineers today cannot be overemphasized. Their responsibilities, however, include the following;
- Drawing of construction plans and preparation of plans;
- Follow up, analyze and evaluate the operation of each project, and put forward suggestions for improvement;
- Monitor the business activities of each project and control the nodes;
- Assist the project team to carry out the positioning of each project and determining the industrial positioning, function, and space planning;
- Familiar with design specifications, able to independently complete water conservancy design such as farmland irrigation and drainage;
- They are responsible for ensuring the improvement of soil production methods;
- Acts as an expert consultant for various structures, both in the public and private sectors;
- An agricultural engineer contributes to the design of a product or service and also intervenes at each stage of the production chain;
- The agricultural engineer is mandated to carry out regular checks on the product even after it has been marketed.
Education and Licensure
You need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. It is, however, wise to get the degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program as it is a requirement for most entry-level jobs. Agricultural engineering coursework includes chemistry, biology, public policy, calculus, business, and physics. It takes about four years to complete the program.
After which engineers undergo an internship program where on-field experience is gained. Agricultural engineers can further get a master’s degree or a PhD. Entry-level positions do not require a license. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, state licensure requires:
- A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
- A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
- Relevant work experience typically at least four (4) years
- A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam.
Salary of an Agricultural Engineer
An agricultural engineer who graduated from an accredited engineering school can claim an average salary of $84,410 yearly. This salary can then go up to $92,070 annually. However, the salary ranges from $51,160 to $92,070. The salary range depends on the industry or place of work. For example, engineers in colleges and universities earn the lowest, while those with the federal government earn higher.
Qualities of an Agricultural Engineer
The qualities of an agricultural engineer include:
- Must be rigorous
- Must be a good communicator and also mobile
After his or her specialization, the agricultural engineer must remain versatile. Apart from their scientific knowledge, they must know various fields: agri-food, viticulture, agro-environment, animal and also plant biology. It is, however, crucial to have good interpersonal skills to work in a team with farmers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of agricultural engineers will grow 5 per cent from 2020 to 2030. There are several possibilities for professional development for an agricultural engineer with the experience he can progress to management positions, whether in the public sector or private.
Agricultural engineers work in many areas of the food industry. For example, they work to improve the processing and packaging of food products. They also work to improve transportation and storage methods for food products.
- Present their professional titles with integrity
- Accept appropriate responsibility for their work
- Ensure responsible management with respect for people and also the balance between private and professional life
- Respect the rights of the people
- Ensure animal welfare and also respect their environment
- Seek to achieve the best result
- Take into account all the constraints imposed by the missions to be carried out and particularly respect those relating to health
- Remain rigorous
- Acquire and also permanently enrich the skills necessary
- Respect and implement their social responsibilities.
- Targeting sustainable development goals
The different specializations in agricultural engineering include the following:
- Plant agro-biosciences
- Livestock system and products
- Computational biology applied to biotechnologies
- Agri-foods industries
- Environmental genius
- Environmental quality and also resource management
- Sustainable development engineering
- Green and bio-based chemistry
- Processes for fine chemicals and bio industries
- Biological engineering
So, if the role of an Agricultural Engineer is right for you, why not start your job search journey with Akandle today?