Agricultural Teacher

Agricultural teachers help students gain an in-depth knowledge of areas like farming, soil science, animal science and agribusiness. Continue reading to learn about career prospects and academic requirements for agricultural teachers, including what you can look forward to in terms of job growth and salary.

Is Teaching Agriculture for Me?

Career Overview

As an agricultural teacher, you'll provide students with information about agricultural procedures, natural resources and food industry technology. You'll also teach them about dairy science and farming, business and growing crops. According to the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), while agricultural classes can be found at many schools across the nation, a lack of instructors is one of the reasons why more middle and high school students do not have access to an agricultural education, as well as the chance to explore the benefits and satisfaction associated with a career in farming (

Career Options and Job Duties

In addition to pursuing a middle or high school position, you might consider teaching at the postsecondary level. According to the NAAE, agricultural teachers provide students with a variety of hands-on learning activities, including lab-based projects and agricultural experiments. In the classroom, you might also cover topics in agricultural cloning, plant growth and satellite mapping methods.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2013, there were approximately 10,120 individuals employed as agricultural science college professors who earned a median annual salary of $83,060. At that same time, there were about 621,970 middle school teachers and 946,730 high school teachers who earned corresponding median salaries of $53,940 and $55,360 a year. As reported by the BLS, between 2012 and 2022, employment opportunities for middle school teachers and high school teachers nationwide were projected to increase by 6% and 12% respectively. By comparison, opportunities for college and university professors were expected to grow by 19% during the same period (

How Do I Become an Agricultural Teacher?

Undergraduate Programs

To become an agricultural teacher, you must have at least a bachelor's degree in agriculture science or a closely related field of study and complete a teaching training program. Completion of a program in agricultural education might qualify you for immediate entry into the field. Undergraduate courses in agriculture can include topics in animal and plant science, pest and weed control and agricultural technology. You might also learn about the use of chemicals in agriculture and horticulture. As part of your teacher preparation program, you'll identify strategies for creating lesson plans and find out how to motivate students; an agricultural field experience and a student teaching practicum will also be required.

Graduate Programs

A master's degree in agricultural education may qualify your for a teaching position at a middle school, high school or community college. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is usually needed to teach at a 4-year college or university. As a Ph.D. student, you might have the opportunity to pursue a specialization in agribusiness, agricultural history, land use or soil science; a concentration in animal nutrition could also be an option. Graduate courses may cover the study of animal and plant systems, plant protection strategies, statistics and food sciences. Additional graduate requirements typically include independent research and a master's thesis or a doctoral dissertation.


To teach at public schools in the United States, you must earn a teaching license. In addition to meeting your State Board of Education's degree requirements, you'll have to achieve a passing score on an exam.

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