People working as Agricultural Scientists study farm animals, soils, pastures and crops to improve their yield, health and quality, and to prevent pests and disease. Scientists tend to be creative and strategic and think about the big picture. They think up new ideas for experiments and apply for funding to various places so the research can go ahead. A research technician works with and assists scientists to undertake research.
The Agricultural Science field would suit someone who is interested in sciences such as biology and chemistry along with agriculture and maths. Employers will look for candidates who are: accurate; objective; good at maths; enquiring and observant, especially when recording results; patient and motivated (many projects are long term); good at solving problems; good communication; skilled at writing. You should also be fit and healthy, with good hand-eye coordination. It would be useful to have had experience in a lab or with a fertilizer or crop & seed company as a sales person.
Research Scientists may do some or all of the following and more: find ways to improve the value or quality of animal or crop production; develop farming methods to protect animal welfare and the environment; run experiments and analyze the results; write about their work for scientific and farming magazines; manage research budgets; present reports at conferences; apply for funding grants.
Agricultural Research Technician, Agricultural Research Scientist eg agronomist,
In this field you will generally work regular hours (around 40 per week). You may occasionally have to work weekends when in the middle of trial work.
Depending on experience and qualifications, you could earn anywhere between $35,000 to $100,000 a year.
The following school subjects are preferable if you’re looking at getting a job in the Agricultural Science sector: Biology, chemistry, maths, computing and english. The minimum requirement to working in Agricultural Science is a Bachelor’s degree, for example a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture or preferably a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. To become a Research Scientist you will generally need a Masters or PhD in an area such as agricultural science, microbiology of biochemistry.