Agricultural Engineers

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About the Job

Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.

It is also Called

  • Test Engineer
  • Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE)
  • Research Leader
  • Research Associate
  • Research Agricultural Engineer
  • Regional Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Product Technology Scientist
  • Product Engineer
  • Permaculture Designer
View All

What They Do

  • Supervise food processing or manufacturing plant operations.
  • Conduct educational programs that provide farmers or farm cooperative members with information that can help them improve agricultural productivity.
  • Design sensing, measuring, and recording devices, and other instrumentation used to study plant or animal life.
  • Design and supervise environmental and land reclamation projects in agriculture and related industries.
  • Design structures for crop storage, animal shelter and loading, and animal and crop processing, and supervise their construction.
  • Visit sites to observe environmental problems, to consult with contractors, or to monitor construction activities.
  • Design food processing plants and related mechanical systems.
  • Test agricultural machinery and equipment to ensure adequate performance.
  • Design agricultural machinery components and equipment, using computer-aided design (CAD) technology.
  • Plan and direct construction of rural electric-power distribution systems, and irrigation, drainage, and flood control systems for soil and water conservation.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Working Conditions, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.

Preparation Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in California was $76,720 with most people making between $57,740 and $97,590

Outlook

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately n/a people in California. It is projected that there will be - employed in 2018.

This occupation will have approximately - job openings annually.