What Do Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Do?
The main responsibility of an agricultural and food science technician is to assist scientists with their research in the fields of agriculture, nutrition, animal breeding and other important areas of food science. This position can include a wide array of responsibilities depending on the research that is being conducted. Examples of what to expect as an agricultural and food science technician include:Extensive research on animals and plantsRecord data during experimentationConduct experiments both in the field and in the labProcess and verify information from dataEvaluate equipment to meet standardsWithin the next decade, it is predicted that this field will see a significant amount of growth. At the current rate, it is likely that there will be 1,010 annual job openings in this field on a national level. This will account for a 3 percent change in the number of individuals who hold this position between 2012 and 2022.
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Skills and Abilities
In order to successfully work as a technician in the field of agricultural and food science, you must have a strong understanding of both biology and chemistry. In addition, it is expected that technicians have a firm grasp on mathematics including calculus, algebra, statistics, arithmetic and geometry. In addition to this knowledge, it is important that technicians be able to spot complex problems and be able to work towards finding a solution to them immediately. A strong technician will be an active listener, have a strong attention to detail, and have excellent oral and written communication skills.
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Duties
Depending on the research that is being conducted, technicians will be responsible for a wide array of duties. The vast majority of responsibilities for this position center around assisting scientists with research at all levels of the process. For agricultural technicians, common responsibilities include:Measure ingredients used to test in a labCollect samples from animals or cropsConduct experiments on animal or insect diseaseThe duties of food science technicians include:Conduct tests on foods to ensure the proper standards are metAnalyze test resultsExamine samples to identify cellular structure
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Tools and Technology
To perform successfully, agricultural and food science technicians must know how to use a wide range of tools and technology. Some of what agricultural technicians must be able to operate includes animal husbandry equipment, fertilizer and seed spreaders, and data entry software. A food science technician will need to be able to operate handheld thermometers, microplate readers and word processing software, among others tools.
Education and Training for Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
Though an Associate’s degree is enough to begin a career in this field, positions are often given to applicants who have a Bachelor’s degree. It is possible to begin a career in this position with less training, though an equal amount of experience in the field is preferred in this situation.
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Salary
Agricultural and food science technicians often make a decent salary. The average annual salary of a technician is $35,100 in the United States. This number fluctuates from state to state and can be significantly higher in states where there is more demand for technicians.
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Jobs by Geography
California, Texas and Wisconsin have the highest employment rates for this position. Within the next decade, it is estimated that the largest increases in employment rates for agricultural and food science technicians will be Georgia, Idaho and Oregon. Despite this, technicians in this position make the highest salary on average in New York, New Jersey and Alabama.