Advances in food and agriculture science are designed to bring healthier conditions and better production value for crops and farm animals and result in new—or better food on our tables. Agricultural and food science technicians help scientists in these fields to conduct research, run lab tests, and keep records. Their specific duties differ: Agricultural technicians study ways to increase the productivity of crops and animals. They operate laboratory equipment and collect crop or animal samples to test them for disease or to confirm scientific experiments. They also perform agricultural labor with added recordkeeping duties. Food science technicians investigate new processing techniques. They inspect foodstuffs, chemicals, and additives, compile and analyze test results, and prepare presentations to share research findings. Agricultural and food science technicians work in laboratories, processing plants, farms and ranches, greenhouses, and offices. Workers may be exposed to loud noise, extreme temperatures, and odors from chemicals or animals. They are often physically active throughout the day. Agricultural and food science technicians typically work standard full-time schedules. Some positions require travel. Agricultural and food science technicians typically need an associate’s degree in biology, chemistry, crop or animal science, or a related field. However, requirements may vary from a high school diploma and related work experience to a bachelor’s degree.
What they do:
Work with agricultural scientists in plant, fiber, and animal research, or assist with animal breeding and nutrition. Set up or maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens or record data to assist scientists in biology or related life science experiments. Conduct tests and experiments to improve yield and quality of crops or to increase the resistance of plants and animals to disease or insects.
On the job, you would:
Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, or animal care.
Measure or weigh ingredients used in laboratory testing.
Prepare data summaries, reports, or analyses that include results, charts, or graphs to document research findings and results.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
read and understand what is written
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Data base user interface and query software
Data entry software
master's degree or bachelor's degree usually needed