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Details for Agricultural Engineers


Description

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.

Tasks

  • Visit sites to observe environmental problems, to consult with contractors, or to monitor construction activities.
  • Design agricultural machinery components and equipment using computer-aided design (CAD) technology.
  • 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.
  • Provide advice on water quality and issues related to pollution management, river control, and ground and surface water resources.
  • Conduct educational programs that provide farmers or farm cooperative members with information that can help them improve agricultural productivity.
  • Discuss plans with clients, contractors, consultants, and other engineers so that they can be evaluated and necessary changes made.
  • Supervise food processing or manufacturing plant operations.
  • Design and supervise environmental and land reclamation projects in agriculture and related industries.
  • 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.
  • Prepare reports, sketches, working drawings, specifications, proposals, and budgets for proposed sites or systems.
  • Meet with clients such as district or regional councils, farmers, and developers, to discuss their needs.
  • Design sensing, measuring, and recording devices, and other instrumentation used to study plant or animal life.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Knowledge

Skills

  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • 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.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Related Careers

  • Chemical Engineers
  • Foresters
  • Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers
  • Industrial Safety and Health Engineers
  • Landscape Architects
  • Product Safety Engineers
  • Soil and Water Conservationists
Wages for this career
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