How Long Does It Take To Get A Degree In Agricultural Engineering?

Agricultural engineers are integral in the practice of land farming, forestry and environmental conservation because they use their knowledge of technology to improve farming practices. Part of their work involves designing agricultural components, food processing plants and animal housing using computer-aided design (CAD). They also play a role in water conservation and water pollution management as well as in the design and supervision of agriculture-focused land reclamation efforts.

Students who are interested in this field can take up an agricultural engineering or biological engineering programs offered in most colleges and universities. A bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering typically takes four years to complete. A high school diploma is a prerequisite for admission into these programs. Those who are thinking of getting an agricultural engineering degree should prepare themselves in high school by taking up courses in math and science, including algebra, trigonometry, calculus, biology, chemistry and physics.

A bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for entry-level jobs in the agricultural engineering industry. It covers topics on farming equipment such as farm tractors, water and waste management and food and livestock farming. They are also taught technology subjects like geographic information systems to manage resources, information technology as it relates to agricultural systems and spatial technology.

When agricultural engineering students want to minor in a particular subject area, they are encouraged to take up programs that can enhance their knowledge. For example, economics, computer technology and environmental science minors would be good matches for an agricultural engineering program.

Students who wish to enhance their knowledge and make their credentials more enticing to employers can choose to take up postgraduate studies with a master’s degree in agricultural engineering. What makes this master’s degree program unique from the master’s degree programs of other fields is that it emphasizes problem solving using science and technology instead of merely letting students just research about a topic. Students must show that they can solve a certain problem while they are undertaking an internship and are typically required to make a professional paper on the matter. A master’s degree in agricultural engineering can take anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half to complete.

A bachelor’s degree program is taken on campus because of the fieldwork and laboratory requirements. There are master’s degree programs in agricultural engineering and related fields that are offered online. Those who wish to teach in agricultural engineering programs in colleges and universities should also obtain a doctorate degree which can add a few more years to one’s time in school.

Before taking up an agricultural engineering degree, it’s essential to choose a program that is accredited by ABET, an organization that accredits applied science, engineering and engineering technology programs around the world. An ABET-accredited degree is a prerequisite for licensure. Agricultural engineers who wish to offer their expertise to the public must have the professional engineer designation before they can practice the profession.

Career Spotlight: Agricultural Engineer

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