Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Something to consider
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every state in the United States has "at least one land-grant college or university with a school of agriculture." So be sure to know your school options when applying to college.
While in school, consider some specializations within biological and agricultural engineering, such as natural resources engineering or structural systems and environmental control. Check your school to see what they offer.
Because the careers vary greatly with this specific major, some job duties include: designing food-processing plants, supervising manufacturing operations, designing agricultural machinery equipment and supervising environmental and land reclamation projects in agriculture. Engineering titles with this major include: biological engineer, environmental engineer, soil and water conservation engineer or quality control engineer.
Corporations both big and small need agricultural engineers for their products, and can include: Caterpillar, John Deere, Modjeski and Masters Engineering, and NASA. Other agricultural engineering job industries can include: food manufacturing, federal government and agriculture/construction/mining machinery manufacturing.
Where you could end up living
According to My Next Move, in 2013 there were 10 states that had average to above-average career opportunities as an agricultural engineer, including: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Washington. Job environments do involve worksites, including visiting machinery on a farm or food processing site.
Salary and occupational outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2013 there were over 2,500 people working as agricultural engineers, and the average salary was $78,880. The growth rate from 2012—2022 is expected to only be five percent, which is slower than the average for all occupations. Agricultural engineers are branching out into new areas of work, including alternative energies and water resource management, plus developing new machinery/equipment will be needed with future farming.
Your college courses will vary from system optimization to hands on experiences. It's possible you will participate in an internship, co-op or senior capstone to gain real life experience with the major. Be sure to visit with a department advisor and recent students to know your options.
Did You Know?
Visit our Free Scholarship Search to find college scholarships for agriculture majors.
Sources: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/farmers-ranchers-and-other-agricultural-managers.htm#tab-4 http://www.mynextmove.org/profile/state/17-2021.00?from=profile http://www.bls.gov/oes/CURRENT/oes172021.htm http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/agricultural-engineers.htm http://abe.psu.edu/majors/be/requirements/age http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-availability-(per-capita)-data-system/summary-findings.aspx#.U3VK5lhdWKU