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Agricultural and Food Scientists

Agricultural and Food Scientists
Quick Facts : Agricultural and Food Scientists*
2010 Median Pay$58,450
Entry Level Education
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201233,500
Job Outlook10% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change3,500

Agricultural and food scientists work to ensure agricultural productivity and food safety. Many work in basic or applied research and development. Basic research seeks to understand the biological and chemical processes by which crops and livestock grow. Applied research uses this knowledge to discover ways to improve the quality, quantity, and safety of agricultural products.

What Agricultural and Food Scientists Do

  • Conduct research and experiments concerning animal nutrition and field crops
  • Develop ways to improve the quantity and quality of field crops and farm animals
  • Create new food products and develop new and better ways to process, package, and deliver them
  • Study the composition of soil as it relates to plant growth
  • Communicate research findings to the scientific community, food producers, and the public

Work Environment

Most agricultural and food scientists work in research universities, private industry, or the federal government. They work in offices, laboratories, and in the field. Scientists in processing plants may sometimes work in unpleasant conditions. Most agricultural and food scientists work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of agricultural and food scientists is expected to increase by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020 with demand driven by the need for new food products and food safety measures.
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The average salary wage of agricultural and food scientists was $58,450 in May 2010.
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Agricultural and Food Scientists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Agricultural and Food Scientists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Agricultural and Food Scientists*
Percent Change in Employment

Agricultural and Food Scientists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Agricultural and Food Scientists

Agricultural and food scientists need at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution, although many obtain a doctoral degree. Food scientists and technologists and soil and plant scientists typically earn bachelor's degrees.
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