Agricultural Engineer Career

Job 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.


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Agricultural Engineer Career

What Agricultural Engineers do:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Design sensing, measuring, and recording devices, and other instrumentation used to study plant or animal life.
  • 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.
  • Design and supervise environmental and land reclamation projects in agriculture and related industries.
  • Visit sites to observe environmental problems, to consult with contractors, or to monitor construction activities.
  • Design food processing plants and related mechanical systems.
  • Supervise food processing or manufacturing plant operations.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

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.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Holland Code Chart for an Agricultural Engineer