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What Agricultural Engineers Do

Agricultural engineers—also known as biological and agricultural engineers—work on a variety of activities. These activities range from aquaculture (raising food, such as fish, that thrive in water) to land farming to forestry; from developing biofuels to improving conservation; from planning animal environments to finding better ways to process food.


Agricultural engineers typically do the following:

Agricultural engineers apply technological advances to farming. For example, they design farming equipment that uses the Global Positioning System. They help agronomists create biological applications for developing crops with new, sturdier traits. And they help with pollution control at larger farms and with water resource matters. These engineers are also heavily involved in efforts to produce new forms of biomass, including algae, for power generation.

Some engineers specialize in areas such as power systems and machinery design, structural and environmental engineering, and food and bioprocess engineering. Agricultural engineers often work in research and development, production, sales, or management.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition