Discover your career path

Agricultural Engineer



Build efficient machines for agricultural processes.

Salary Range

$74,780 - $114,880

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

What does an Agricultural Engineer do?

The practice of harvesting crops and bringing them to the table is as old as mankind itself. In contrast to the days of gathering berries and hunting buffalo, today’s agricultural environment involves large machines, sophisticated systems, and mass production. An agricultural engineer’s job is to solve problems and improve the process of planting, growing, collecting, processing, and delivering foods, fuels, and beverages from the field to the table.

Agricultural engineers work to improve yields for farmers while finding ways to hold down rising costs. As an agricultural engineer, you do this through a careful evaluation of the process. For a dairy, you might consider a different type of refrigeration system or design a more efficient milking machine. You might also design barns, sheds, animal shelters, and silos that protect the animals, keep the crop at a safe temperature, or reduce moisture.

You also work to conserve resources and protect the environment. On a wheat farm, you develop more effective watering techniques. You might create a pump from a nearby water source, or simply water at night to reduce evaporation. You could design a new system that redirects and filters water before it re-enters a nearby river, reducing run-off damage to fragile plants and keeping contaminants from polluting the water.

Off the farm, agricultural engineers sometimes work in food processing where you streamline production lines, create new equipment, improve techniques, and evaluate packaging, storage, and transportation systems. This all requires an analytical mind, a passion for science, and the ability to come up with creative solutions.