Agricultural Engineering

2022 Agricultural Engineering Degree Guide

Farmers and communities around the world depend on the science of agriculture to make their life possible. Healthy plants grow from healthy soil, which is commonly depleted by over-farming, adding chemicals, and by natural wind and water erosion. Agricultural Engineers are responsible for coming up with farming practices that will use soil and farm land more efficiently. You may participate in a range of activities like planning animal habitats, producing better ways to process food, or inventing new methods of irrigation. Agricultural Engineers work with farmers and manufacturers to improve food safety, farming systems and tools.

As a major in Agricultural Engineering you will be required to make certain classes. These will vary depending on the college you attend. Some of these classes could include environmental studies, chemistry, calculus, biology, agricultural engineering design, biochemistry, hydrology, soil science, water resources engineering, biological and agricultural energy systems, and food processing engineering.

Agricultural Engineering Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#204 Most Popular Major
1.5k Degrees Awarded
-6.3% Increase in Graduates

Agricultural Engineering was the 204th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 1,472 degrees in this year alone. This 92 less than the prior year, a decrease of 6.3%.

This year's Best Agricultural Engineering Schools ranking compares 29 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom AE rankings further below.

Best Agricultural Engineering Schools by Degree

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Agricultural Engineering

In order to be successful in this field you should have strong critical thinking skills. By using logic and reasoning you will come up with creative and alternative solutions to the problems that you will come across. You should also be able to multitask and handle complex problems. These problems will be difficult, but if you have determination you should be able to work through them especially with the help of your professors or your group members. Problem solving should not be intimidating to you.

Engineers frequently work on teams to come up with solutions to problems. You may be asked to work with other engineers, farmers, or even the government, therefore you need to be able to work with people from a variety of backgrounds. Good communication and listening skills are important to understand what your clients, co-workers, or other professionals want.

You should have a strong mathematical ability and understand the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other mathematic skills. Science and biology will also play a large role in your everyday life. Also, system analysis should be something that you are interested in because you will be creating solutions and upgrades that affect different machinery and equipment.

Most programs will require an internship or a certain number of hours working with a co-op. This will provide you with excellent experience to prepare you for a career.

Prior Education for an AE Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic agricultural engineering program qualifications, to serve in some AE careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Agricultural Engineering Degree Types

There are various different levels of AE degrees. You can get anything from a in agricultural engineering to the highest AE degree, a . Depending on the agricultural engineering degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to AE, with approximately 45.7% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to AE tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 51.7%
Master’s Degree 22.8%
Doctoral Degree 10.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 6.3%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.8%

96.6% of AE workers have at least a bachelor's. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in agricultural engineering have received.


This of course varies depending on which AE career you choose.

Career Opportunities for AE Majors

Average Number of Jobs
$57.2k Average Starting Salary
7% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are many career opportunities available in the field of Agricultural Engineering. You can work with farmers applying technical advances to farming and their systems. Another career path could be working with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to help agronomists develop crops and get the most out of their land as possible. Agricultural Engineers also find jobs working for the government or companies reducing pollution. Other areas you may choose to specialize in include the research, development, production, sales, or even management of power systems and machinery design.

Growth Projected for AE Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your AE degree? Agricultural Engineering careers are expected to grow 7.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to agricultural engineering.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Architectural and Engineering Managers 190,000 5.5%
Engineering Professors 54,600 14.7%
Agricultural Engineers 2,900 7.4%

AE Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated agricultural engineering students earned an average of $57,218 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $42,517 to as high as $67,924. As you might expect, salaries for AE graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for AE Majors

Salaries for agricultural engineering graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers AE grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers $148,970
Engineering Professors $113,680
Agricultural Engineers $79,090

Getting Your Agricultural Engineering Degree

With over 107 different AE degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased AE school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural Engineering is one of 40 different types of Engineering programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 46,178
Electrical Engineering 28,844
Civil Engineering 21,388
Computer Engineering 17,987
Chemical Engineering 12,917

View All AE Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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