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Agricultural Engineering

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Agricultural Engineering Major

1,545 yearly degrees
#226 in popularity
$114,000 median salary

Agricultural engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 4 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in AE, 35 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 33 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 29 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an AE Degree?

Agricultural engineering is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #162 in popularity. About 1,100 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major attracts more men than women. About 60.8% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of AE majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 9.9%
  • Black or African American: 3.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 6%
  • White: 68.8%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 5.9%
  • Other Races: 5.5%

Agricultural Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in AE. About 5.9% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending AE majors to the U.S. are China, India and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as an Agricultural Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to AE to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for AE Majors

AE majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Agricultural Engineering Majors

Skills for AE Majors

When studying AE, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Agricultural Engineering Majors

Abilities for AE Majors

AE majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for AE Majors

What Can You Do With an AE Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with AE:

Careers Related to Agricultural Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Agricultural Engineers 7.4% $77,110
Biofuels/Biodiesel Technology and Product Development Managers 5.5% $140,760
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720

Agricultural Engineering Major Salary

Average salaries range from $79,000 to $149,000 for careers related to AE. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an AE Major  ( 79000 to 149000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Agricultural Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with AE may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for AE careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Agricultural Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Less Than a High School Diploma 0%
High School Diploma or Equivalent 0.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate 1.3%
Some College Courses 0%
Associate's Degree or Equivalent 2.2%
Bachelor's Degree 51.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 6.3%
Master's Degree 22.8%
Post-Master's Certificate 2.4%
First Professional Degree 0%
Doctoral Degree 10.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.8%

Online Agricultural Engineering Programs

There are 35 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is an Agricultural Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for an AE grad is $114,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 192% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,495,600 after 20 years!

agricultural engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture via License

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