Agricultural Technicians work to support the production and use of agricultural materials. They may perform agricultural research and / or work as field technicians, collecting and testing samples. Please note, we recently split the Agricultural and Food Science Technician page into this page and Food Technologist.
Education & Training:
Agricultural technologists may need an Associate in Animal Science degree, an Associate in Food Science degree, or an associate’s degree in a related field. Some schools offer an Associates degree in Agricultural Technology.
Many schools offer internships, cooperative education and other experiential programs for food technologists.
A hazmat certification course may be required.
Field technicians must enjoy working outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.
Common requirements and abilities:
- A valid driver's license
- Able to life 50 lbs repeatedly
- Able to follow directions and work independently
- Pre-employment drug screen
Agricultural science technicians typically develop and follow protocols to store crop and animal samples, operate farm equipment and maintain agricultural production areas to conform to scientific testing parameters. They also examine animals and specimens to look for diseases or other problems, ensure they meet safety standards, and measure ingredients used in testing of animal feed and for other purposes. When working in private industry, agricultural science technicians perform many of these same duties, with a focus on increasing the productivity of crops and animals.
Some agricultural technicians are considered field technicians. Field technicians collect samples (plant tissue, soil, and water) and record information in legible and accurate records.
Agricultural technicians may specialize by subject area. Some popular subjects include carbon management and sequestration, microbiology, and processing technology.
Agricultural technicians who work for the federal government monitor regulatory compliance for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture, and other agencies. With the recent passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the frequency of food inspections is expected to increase, along with improvements in performance standards. The FSMA also requires more inspections of foreign food production facilities that export to the United States, so some agricultural technicians may travel internationally.
Other titles include Seed Analyst, Agricultural Research technician, County Extension Agent, Agricultural Research Technologist, Field Technician.