Agricultural and food science technicians assist agricultural and food scientists by performing duties such as measuring and analyzing the quality of food and agricultural products.
Agricultural and food science technicians work in laboratories, processing plants, farms and ranches, greenhouses, and offices.
How to Become an Agricultural or Food Science Technician
Agricultural and food science technicians typically need an associate’s degree in biology, chemistry, crop or animal science, or a related field. Many positions require a bachelor’s degree. For those positions requiring only a high school diploma, technicians typically need to have previous work experience. Technicians often receive on-the-job training that may cover topics such as production techniques, personal hygiene, and sanitation procedures.
Employment of agricultural and food science technicians is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Advances in technology and scientific knowledge related to food production will require greater control of production and processing activities, increasing demand for these workers.
This occupation supported 25,900 jobs in 2012 and 33,000 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 27.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 3.1% in 2022 to 26,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 26,000, compared with an observed value of 33,000, 26.9% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.6% in 2024 to 34,700 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 26,800 jobs for 2024, 22.8% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.