Agricultural Technicians
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Speciality
Overview
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Work with agricultural scientists in plant, fiber, and animal research, or assist with animal breeding and nutrition. Set up or maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens or record data to assist scientists in biology or related life science experiments. Conduct tests and experiments to improve yield and quality of crops or to increase the resistance of plants and animals to disease or insects.
Titles for this career often contain these words
TechnicianTesterResearchAssistantFoodLaboratoryQualitySeedControlLabAgriculturalSpecialistAnalystDairyAgricultureAideTechnologistFeedAssuranceFieldBloodCheeseExtensionCultureAssociateScienceJuiceTechQAAcidityResearcherAgronomyArtificialBreedingBeerBrewerBiologicalBiotechnicianBottleHouseButterFatCattleCentralCLTSupervisorCottonProgramCountyAgentCowCreamMediaCustomApplicatorDataFacultyMillFermentologistServicePoultryCriticProductsSafetyTasterFowlFruitHorticulturalInsectStandardizerLandscapingMaltSpecificationsMilkMoistureOperationsPermacultureContractorPlantQCAnalysisExpertSeniorSensoryScientistSugarcaneSustainableTasteTechnicalServicesTestBakerUrbanGardeningWeedYeastDeveloper
Education
Only 30% of agricultural and food science technicians have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by agricultural and food science technicians
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Employment
Workforce size
Agricultural technicians, with 29,200 workers, form a smaller workforce than 67% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for agricultural technicians are expected to grow by 6%, and should have about 3,800 job openings a year.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for agricultural and food science technicians compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most agricultural and food science technicians earn.
$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 36% of agricultural and food science technicians -- that's a smaller percentage than 51% of other jobs.
Gender of agricultural and food science technicians
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For agricultural and food science technicians, the median men's salary was 17% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 19% of agricultural and food science technicians are minority, and 16% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of agricultural and food science technicians
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (16%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Agricultural Technicians per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of agricultural technicians who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (69%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (62%)
  • Consequence of Error (57%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (44%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (32%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (31%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do agricultural and food science technicians earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (agricultural technicians). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for agricultural technicians (BLS Salary Data)
$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all agricultural and food science technicians.
Distribution: Salaries for agricultural and food science technicians (ACS Salary Data)
$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $44KAll jobs' median $45K$43K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire agricultural technicians.
Employers of Agricultural and Food Science Technicians (ACS)
Private for-profit (78.9%)
Private not-for-profit (3.3%)
Local government (3.4%)
State government (5.0%)
Federal government (6.3%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.0%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.9%)
Working without pay (0.2%)
Distribution: Salaries of agricultural and food science technicians by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of agricultural and food science technicians, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$45K$45K$33K$58K$43K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of agricultural technicians by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty agricultural technicians, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$41K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for agricultural and food science technicians

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$41K$52K$49K$55K$51K$50K$51K$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
02K4K6K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Agricultural and food science technicians and gender

With 36% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 51% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
36%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Agricultural and food science technicians
Men (64%)
Women (36%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for agricultural and food science technicians, with the median salary for men 17% higher than the median salary for women.

$40K$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men.

17%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of agricultural and food science technicians

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. The percentage of minority agricultural and food science technicians falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of agricultural and food science technicians
White (76% )
Black (9% )
Asian (6% )
Other (5% )
Multiracial (3% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for agricultural and food science technicians by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$41K$42K$44K$45K$48K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAsianOtherBlackWhiteMultiracial
Distribution: Salaries for agricultural and food science technicians by nativity
$43K$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Agricultural and food science technicians and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 9% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 58% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
9%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time agricultural and food science technicians is shown following.

$15K$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by agricultural technicians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), agricultural technicians typically hold a associate's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as agricultural and food science technicians as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for agricultural technicians

Students interested in a career as an agricultural or food science technician should take as many high school science and math classes as possible. A solid background in applied chemistry, biology, physics, math, and statistics is important. Knowledge of how to use spreadsheets and databases also may be necessary.

Agricultural and food science technicians typically need an associate’s degree in biology, chemistry, crop or animal science, or a related field from an accredited college or university. Some agricultural and food science technician positions require a bachelor’s degree.

Students may take courses in biology, chemistry, plant or animal science, and agricultural engineering as part of their programs. Programs include technical instruction and hands-on experience. Many schools offer internships, cooperative-education, and other programs designed to provide practical experience and enhance employment prospects.

Some agricultural and food science technicians successfully enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent, but they typically need related work experience and on-the-job training that may last a year or more.

Education attained by agricultural and food science technicians
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for agricultural and food science technicians? Below we see the distribution of agricultural and food science technicians salaries based on the education attained.

$46K$41K$47K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KHigh School (23%)Some College (26%)Associate's/Cert. (13%)Bachelor's Degree (24%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for agricultural and food science technicians

What jobs will most agricultural and food science technicians hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of agricultural and food science technicians reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Agricultural and Food Science TechniciansSpecialized Agricultural WorkersSpecialized production workers, including computer-controlled tooloperatorsInspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and WeighersTelecommunications Line Installers and RepairersHealth Technologists and TechniciansFarmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural ManagersIndustrial and refractory machinery mechanicsLaborers and Freight, Stock, and By-Hand Material MoversEngineering Technologists and TechniciansSchool bus monitors and protective service workersEnvironmental EngineersSpecialized Life, Physical, and Social Science TechniciansBuilding CleanersPostsecondary teachers and assistantsAgricultural InspectorsOperations Research AnalystsDriver/sales workers and truck driversPest Control WorkersComputer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine RepairersFirst-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating WorkersAccountants and AuditorsMedical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and TechniciansIndustrial Truck and Tractor OperatorsChemical TechniciansGeneral Maintenance and Repair WorkersWholesale and Manufacturing Sales RepresentativesFarm Products Buyers and Purchasing AgentsWaiters and WaitressesFirst-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, andGrounds-keeping WorkersAgricultural Products Graders and Sorters
Lateral job transitions for agricultural and food science technicians

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 13 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as agricultural and food science technicians as well as 1% of respondents after working as agricultural and food science technicians. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for agricultural and food science technicians: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as agricultural and food science technicians? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of agricultural and food science technicians surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most agricultural technicians? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as agricultural technicians. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all agricultural and food science technicians, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Agricultural Technicians per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.20.40.60.81.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where agricultural technicians earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for agricultural and food science technicians compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for agricultural and food science technicians.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all agricultural and food science technicians, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Agricultural Technicians (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which agricultural technicians earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?