Agriculture Teacher: Salary and Career Facts

Agriculture teachers usually work in high schools or higher education institutions. Read about subjects you might teach and the requirements for entering this career. Salary and employment outlook information are also discussed in this article. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Agriculture Teacher?

Agriculture teachers normally teach at the secondary level and educate students in agricultural production, agricultural business, veterinary science, as well as plant, animal and food systems. Agriculture teachers must also show students how to use any equipment or tools appropriately. They develop hands-on projects to prepare students for a possible career in this field. Just like other teachers, agriculture teachers make lesson plans, monitor the progress of their students' learning and enforce classroom rules for proper classroom management.

Below may be important information that contains details to become a certified high school vocational instructor or postsecondary agricultural sciences teacher.

High School Agriculture Teacher Postsecondary Agricultural Sciences Teacher
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Doctoral degree
Education Field of Study Education, agriculture Agriculture
Licensure Required to work in public schools N/A
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7%* (all high school career and technical education teachers) 6%*
Median Salary (2015) $56,130* (all high school career and technical education teachers) $90,780*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Where Can I Work as an Agriculture Teacher?

As an agriculture teacher, you may work at secondary schools or postsecondary institutions. Your ability to find a job teaching agriculture at the secondary level may depend on location. Schools in areas more heavily involved in agriculture may be more likely to offer teaching positions in the field at the secondary level. Your training in agriculture may also be useful for acquiring a general science teacher position.

What Can I Teach?

In secondary schools, you can instruct students on plant systems, crop production or animal health. You may cover topics in agricultural business, agricultural mechanics or natural resource management. You may also find yourself working as an advisor for students in agricultural youth organizations.

At a college, you may teach animal science, preparing students for work in veterinary clinics or at livestock companies. You may also help students research crops and animals with a focus on increasing the quality and quantity of food produced. You might teach students about crop yields, water and soil conservation, pest control, pesticides and weed control.

What Are the Requirements?

To teach agriculture at a college or university, you generally need a doctoral degree. Postsecondary positions usually also require you to periodically publish your research findings. As a secondary school agriculture teacher, you need to earn a bachelor's degree and acquire a teaching license. Generally, you complete a bachelor's degree in agricultural science or a related field and then complete teacher training courses. At both levels, you may need to acquire work experience as an agricultural scientist before pursuing a teaching position.

What Are the Job Market and Salary Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment growth for career and technical education teachers at the secondary level was projected to be 7% for 2014-2024, which is about slower than the average as the rate of growth forecast for all occupations during that decade (

On the other hand, the employment rate for postsecondary agricultural science teachers was predicted to increase roughly 6% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS data. An increase in the college-aged population and more adults returning to school may contribute to the demand for more postsecondary teachers.

In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for postsecondary agricultural science teachers was $90,780. Most postsecondary agricultural science teachers earned between $46,680 and $149,960. In secondary institutions, career and technical education teachers made a median annual salary of $56,130 as of May 2015, while the top-earning teachers made $83,180 upwards.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If becoming an agriculture teacher isn't what you plan to do, there are several other options that require a bachelor's degree. There are several other content areas at the high school level that you can teach including math, history, English, and science. Other education levels also require a bachelor's degree such as the middle school and elementary school. Elementary school teachers normally teach all content areas. Another option is to become a special education teacher. These teachers work with students who have a disability. Special education teachers accommodate these students through lessons at their ability level.

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