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Agricultural engineer

What does an agricultural engineer do?

Agricultural engineers look for ways to improve farming practices and often focus on sustainability and safety. By analysing operations and considering new technologies, an agricultural engineer will help farmers to improve land use, conserve resources, and increase yields. Working in this profession you could be involved in processing agricultural products, production facilities, designing equipment, waste management, worker safety, agribusiness and more. Your workplace will likely be a mix of indoors and in the field and your workload will probably be influenced by the weather and season.

Is a career as an agricultural engineer right for me?

Beyond being a qualified engineer, if you want to work in agricultural engineering or agribusiness, it’s helpful to have attributes and skills including:

  • strong written and verbal communication skills
  • design skills
  • the ability to work both in a team and independently
  • good problem-solving skills
  • an adaptable and flexible nature
  • strong numeracy skills.

How to become an agricultural engineer

Every journey to study is individual and there are several paths to an agricultural engineer career. You will typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a major in agricultural engineering or a similar equivalent to start your career in this field.

At ˾Ƶ, we offer the following degrees in the area of agriculture:

Average salary per week
$1400
Future demand
Very Strong

Source:  
© Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated May 2024.

Two man standing in a field, in front of a tractor, looking at a laptop.
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How much do agricultural engineers make?
The average salary of an agricultural engineer in Australia varies based on factors such as location, experience, and workplace setting. Refer to the salary information on this page for further details.
Where do agricultural engineers work?

Agricultural engineers work in a variety of different settings, including:

  • government agencies
  • private consulting firms
  • universities and research institutions
  • agricultural machinery companies. 

They often work in offices but may also spend time on-site to solve problems with agricultural operations.

What is the demand for agricultural engineers like?
The demand for agricultural engineers is expected to remain very strong. As the world increasingly focuses on sustainable agriculture, agricultural engineers are at the forefront of designing and implementing practices that support a progressive and sustainable future. Their expertise is crucial in ensuring efficient water use, especially in arid regions and places facing water scarcity. Agricultural engineers are also increasingly involved in developing strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change by designing resilient agricultural systems that can withstand extreme weather conditions.
What is included in the typical agricultural engineer job description?

A typical agricultural engineer job entails:

  • studying operating requirements for a variety of agricultural machinery, structures, and equipment, and engaging in research and development work to improve and innovate
  • advising employers, associates, or clients on agricultural engineering matters and consulting with other specialists to ensure integrated and comprehensive solutions
  • designing machinery, structures, and equipment, and preparing working drawings and other specifications
  • supervising the construction or manufacture, and installation of structures and equipment.
What are the typical career opportunities in agricultural engineering?

Career opportunities in agricultural engineering include:

  • design engineer
  • project manager
  • research scientist
  • environmental consultant
  • technical advisor.

Agricultural engineers often also pursue careers in manufacturing, professional, scientific, and technical services as well. 

How long does it typically take to become an agricultural engineer?

The time it takes to become an agricultural engineer can vary depending on factors such as your educational background, training requirements, and employment opportunities.

There are multiple undergraduate study options for you to take at ˾Ƶ to become an agricultural engineer, including an associate degree, which takes 2 years of full-time study to complete, or a bachelor’s degree in engineering, majoring in agricultural engineering, which typically requires a minimum of 3 years of full-time study.

Postgraduate degrees, such as a master (2 years of full-time study) or a graduate diploma (6 months of full-time study), can extend your study period, and can also enhance and extend your expertise and career opportunities in the field.

Some students also choose to study part-time, which increases the time it takes to finish the required courses. 

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