Agricultural Engineers

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About the Job

Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.

It is also Called

  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Agricultural Equipment Design Engineer
  • Agricultural Equipment Test Engineer
  • Agricultural Production Engineer
  • Agricultural Research Engineer
  • Agricultural Safety and Health Program Director
  • Agricultural Systems Specialist
  • Agriculture Consultant
  • Agriculture Engineer
  • Agriculture Scientist

What They Do

  • Design sensing, measuring, and recording devices, and other instrumentation used to study plant or animal life.
  • Meet with clients such as district or regional councils, farmers, and developers, to discuss their needs.
  • Conduct educational programs that provide farmers or farm cooperative members with information that can help them improve agricultural productivity.
  • Visit sites to observe environmental problems, to consult with contractors, or to monitor construction activities.
  • Test agricultural machinery and equipment to ensure adequate performance.
  • Design structures for crop storage, animal shelter and loading, and animal and crop processing, and supervise their construction.
  • Supervise food processing or manufacturing plant operations.
  • Plan and direct construction of rural electric-power distribution systems, and irrigation, drainage, and flood control systems for soil and water conservation.
  • Design food processing plants and related mechanical systems.
  • Discuss plans with clients, contractors, consultants, and other engineers so that they can be evaluated and necessary changes made.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Working Conditions, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in Washington was $70,130 with most people making between $54,720 and $89,630

Outlook

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 130 people in Washington. It is projected that there will be 140 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have approximately - job openings annually.