No longer does entering the agriculture industry mean becoming a farmer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2.4 million people were employed in an agricultural-related job in 2017. Employment opportunities in agriculture are expected to grow nearly 5 percent between 2015 and 2020, according to Purdue University and the United States Department of Agriculture. Part of what’s driving this growth are such industry changes as the vastly larger scale of current farming operations, the increasing complexity of agricultural technology, and an expanding web of support industries. Job seekers can find career options that didn’t exist a decade ago.
Food scientists have been in great demand since the start of the century, and job growth is expected to continue going up. Food scientists improve food products and create new ones by researching and experimenting with combinations of raw ingredients, food sources, and food processing techniques. As an example, Louis Pasteur discovered the food processing method named after him, but it was food scientists who developed thin, individually wrapped, square slices of pasteurized cheddar cheese that never go bad.
Agribusiness is the management field of the agriculture industry. Some who work in agribusiness own or manage farms and ranches themselves; others work for separate businesses that exist to support farms and ranches. According to the 2015 Agribusiness Job Report, there were 26 percent more applications posted on AgCareer.com than in 2014, and job listings were up from the previous year as well, with nearly 6,800 new listings a month.
Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications
This is the field for you if you want to combine an interest in agriculture with an interest in communications. Agricultural communications professionals work in print and broadcast journalism, on the staffs of magazines and newspapers, as press spokespeople, as public relations, advertising, and marketing executives, and as educators. Job growth for public relations jobs is especially strong, and all ag communication jobs are expected to grow faster than general communications jobs, according to Colorado State University.
Agricultural Equipment Operators
These highly skilled agricultural workers drive, operate, and maintain the equipment used to plant and harvest crops, such as tractors, balers, conveyors, manure spreaders, mowers, shredders, harvesters, and power washers. The job outlook for agricultural equipment operators has been continuously good for the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a job growth of 5 to 9 percent in the next 10 years.
Food Packers and Packagers
Before agricultural products can reach their ultimate destination, they must be packaged safely and appropriately for shipment. This is what food packers and packagers do. Contemporary packing operations are usually done with sophisticated package processing equipment that takes skill and experience to operate. As you might expect, the employment outlook for food packers in agriculture is best in parts of the country where agriculture is a larger part of the economy, like California, Texas, and portions of the Midwest and South.
As long as there are farm animals, there will be a demand for veterinarians. The importance of veterinarians in agriculture goes far beyond the need to keep valuable livestock healthy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s One Health approach emphasizes the idea that the health of animals is inextricably connected to human and environmental health. This interdisciplinary approach encourages widely varying industries, professions, and institutions to work together.
Horticulture and agriculture are related fields. The Latin roots “horti-” and “agri-” mean garden, and land, respectively. But horticulture is much more than simply a fancy word for gardening. Horticulturists focus their skills and experience on growing and selling highly marketable fruits and vegetables, flowers, and decorative plants. Landscape designers, nursery managers, florists, and forestry experts manage natural resources on both public and private lands, as well as for the timber industry and large private corporations, and for farms that grow and sell flowers and plants.
Farm Workers and Laborers
Farm workers and laborers are essential to the agriculture industry, and despite the seasonal nature of some jobs, they are always in demand. The sheer number and diversity of jobs in this category may surprise you - according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 850,000 people were employed in this agricultural discipline in a variety of roles. Agricultural workers and laborers are employed in greenhouses and plant nurseries as well as on farms and ranches. Federal and state inspectors are classified as agricultural workers, too. In addition to planting and harvesting crops, farm workers and laborers perform related tasks such as installing irrigation systems, packing and loading harvested food onto trucks for shipment, and maintaining farm equipment. They also do routine animal care tasks on ranches and dairy farms, keep written records on animals, assist at births, and keep animal housing areas clean.
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Every industry needs numbers people to count the money and keep track of expenses. As one of the most important industries in the United States, agriculture is no exception. In addition to working directly for farms and ranches, there are lots of companies and businesses that specialize in serving the agricultural industry’s accounting and record-keeping needs.
Commercial agriculture on the massive scale it exists today would scarcely be possible without the ability to ship large quantities of meat, fruits, and vegetables vast distances without spoilage. The job outlook for heavy-load, tractor-trailer drivers is excellent. According to the BLS, employment in this field is projected to increase by 6 percent in the decade 2016-2026.
So @Everybody which of these areas of agriculture are you interested in