Agricultural consultants are experts in the field of agriculture who advise farmers on how to improve production and productivity. Agricultural consultants can be animal scientists, food scientists or even soil and plant scientists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that agricultural, food, soil and plant scientists comprised 31,000 members of America's workforce in 2010. Salaries for agricultural consultants vary based on the field of expertise in which they work as well as where they work.
Animal scientists working the consulting field made an average annual salary of $84,060 per year in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This salary was significantly higher than the average salary for other animal scientists who earned an average salary of $68,170 per year. Food scientists in the agricultural consulting field made average salaries of $78,230 per year, compared to the $65,380 per year made by all food scientists. Soil and plant consultants earned an average of $54,050 and were the only consultants who made below the national average for their respective field, which was $62,600 per year.
The pay range for each field of agricultural consulting also differs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, soil and plant scientists made salaries ranging from $34,420 to $101,740 per year in 2010, with a median salary of $57,340 per year. The salary range for food scientists was from $34,330 to $106,160 per year, with a reported median salary of $60,180. Animal scientist salaries ranged from $33,980 to $117,150, with a median salary of $58,250.
Location also provides some indication of what the agricultural consultant can expect to make. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates animal scientists in Texas made an average salary of $59,180 per year in 2010, while the highest paid animal scientists made salaries of $100,700 per year working in the state of Maryland. The highest paid soil and plant scientists also worked in Maryland and earned an average salary of $88,540 per year. The top paying food scientists made $100,930 per year working in Hawaii.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the consulting field will be the fastest growing field in which to work over the decade between 2008 to 2018. The bureau indicates that the number of jobs in the consulting field will grow by 83 percent during this time frame. Many businesses, including those in the agricultural field will seek expert advice to be competitive in the global market.
2016 Salary Information for Agricultural and Food Scientists
Agricultural and food scientists earned a median annual salary of $62,670 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, agricultural and food scientists earned a 25th percentile salary of $47,880, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $84,090, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 43,000 people were employed in the U.S. as agricultural and food scientists.