Agricultural Engineers

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Also known as:  Agricultural Engineer, Agricultural Production Engineer, Agricultural Research Engineer, Farm Equipment Engineer, Research Agricultural Engineer

ABOUT AGRICULTURAL ENGINEER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Developing a flood control system for a community threatened by a river, designing a farm of the future for a major corporation, supervising production of new strains of plants - these are just some of the varied jobs an agricultural engineer might do. This is a lifetime career, for which you must t ...
rain at an engineering school or college department.

If you decide to go into research and development, you might go on for a master's degree or Ph.D. An aptitude for science and technology, along with good oral and written communication skills, the ability to identify, analyze, and solve problems is essential.

You could end up working indoors or outdoors: in a forest, laboratory, or design office; or on a farm or research station. Though your work focuses on growing and living things, your emphasis will be on the design, manufacturing, and construction of machinery and equipment, structures and facilities that improve crop and livestock production, improve food processing techniques, or solve problems related to the use and conservation of soil, water, and forest resources.

You will also need to be comfortable with computers. The work you do could have a major impact on society. Agricultural engineers examine the impact of all aspects of plant and food production. From out national parks to specialized greenhouses.

In fact, agricultural engineers can make headlines with breakthroughs on production techniques, such as genetic engineering and cloning. As the world population grows, the need for the work of agricultural engineers will be ever greater.
SNAPSHOT Expand
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.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Design food processing plants and related mechanical systems.
Conduct educational programs that provide farmers or farm cooperative members with information that can help them improve agricultural productivity.
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.
Provide advice on water quality and issues related to pollution management, river control, and ground and surface water resources.
Design agricultural machinery components and equipment using computer-aided design (CAD) technology.
Meet with clients such as district or regional councils, farmers, and developers, to discuss their needs.
Prepare reports, sketches, working drawings, specifications, proposals, and budgets for proposed sites or systems.
Design and supervise environmental and land reclamation projects in agriculture and related industries.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
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.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
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