Agricultural and food scientists research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products.
Agricultural and food scientists work in various industries, including colleges and universities, manufacturing, and in scientific research and development. They work in offices, laboratories, and, sometimes, food production facilities. Most agricultural and food scientists work full time.
How to Become an Agricultural or Food Scientist
Agricultural and food scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution, although many get advanced degrees.
Employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow as research into agricultural production methods and techniques continues.
This occupation supported 38,400 jobs in 2012 and 36,000 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 6.2%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.6% in 2022 to 42,100 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 39,100, compared with an observed value of 36,000, 7.9% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.5% in 2024 to 38,099 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 42,800 jobs for 2024, 12.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.