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Agricultural Consultant Job Description, Career as a Agricultural Consultant, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Training/Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree desirable

Median Salary: $58,240 annually

Job Prospects: Good

Job Description

An agricultural consultant works as a problem solver for their clients. Clients may vary in scope, depending on their employer. If they work for a government sector, the client based is well established and often provided to them. If they work for a larger consulting organization or as an independent consultant, clients may vary from farmers, land owners and corporations, to conservation organizations.

An agricultural consultant has a background within the agricultural sector, working as a scientist or a research specialist. They possess a strong background and understanding of the agricultural industry. Agricultural consultants meet with clients to define the scope of work. They assess the situation, provide guidance based on their background, collect and organize data and information, and prepare a business plan. They work hand in hand with their clients to define a solution to the problem or issue at hand, and present the solution on their behalf.

Agricultural consultants provide expertise based on their background and their client’s needs. They solve problems for the client, and they are involved in every step of the process. They collect the data and work with a team to analyze the results in preparation for the next steps. They must be eloquent in presenting, not just to their clients but to anybody involved in the project. Research and administrative work are required in preparing documents for the client and any other organizations involved in the assignment.

Training/Educational Requirements

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required, however, it is preferred for agricultural consultants to have a master’s degree. Since this is a higher level role within the industry, a higher education is helpful in performing the required tasks. More importantly, agricultural consultants should possess a background and experience in the agricultural industry.

Most agricultural consultants bring strong experience with them into this role. They often begin in a research role and often move up in their careers. They typically have experience as an agricultural scientist, working for a corporation or a government sector. Clients hiring agricultural consultants need to have confidence in their experience and knowledge. Therefore, it is helpful to keep current with industry trends and practices.

How to Get Hired

The best way to get hired as an agricultural consultant is to demonstrate experience. Whether the consultant is working for a consulting firm, or on an independent basis, knowledge and background are the most important factors in getting hired. As consultants work on solving problems, clients want to know the person they hired has knowledge and experience in getting the job done.

If an agricultural consultant is working for a consulting firm, it is essential to show all types of work experiences. Agricultural consultants should have experience working in a variety of roles within the agricultural industry. It also helps to show a progression up, starting off with research and demonstrating a thriving career path. Experience within specialized areas can also prove to be helpful.

If an agricultural consultant is working on an independent basis, the way to get hired is not only to demonstrate experience but to perform effective marketing. It’s important to draw in clients and enlist appropriate marketing efforts to getting hired as the agricultural consultant of choice.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

Consulting, in general, is expected to be one of the fastest growing occupations. Although competition is high, an agricultural consultant brings a specialized set of skills and experience to a client that is quite valuable. As more corporations and conservation organizations work to protect agricultural-based issues, the need for agricultural consultants will continue to rise.

The more experience an individual possesses, the higher the likelihood they will get hired. Competition can be high, so demonstrating a solid background is helpful in getting hired. Most agricultural consultants work their way up the ranks and start as an agricultural scientist. Consulting is the highest level an individual may go within this field so the potential for growth can be high. Career growth depends on the agricultural issues at hand, the geographical location, as well as the local government.

Working Environment

The typical working environment varies, with a mix between being in an office and being out in the field. Client meetings generally take place at the office of the agricultural consultant or that of the client. If extensive research is involved, agricultural consultants spend most of their time in the field.

Agricultural consultants travel from client meetings to their own office quite frequently. They travel to laboratories to meet with scientists helping with their research. They may also travel to local government or conservation organization meetings to represent or accompany the client. The working environment and physical location of the agricultural consultant varies by client. Extensive work hours may be required.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for an agricultural consultant is generally about $58,240 per year. Salaries vary depending on the client and the geographical location. At the high end, an individual with strong experience or working at a VP level within a consulting firm may earn up to $140,005 per year. The annual salary varies based on the consulting firm, and if the agricultural consultant is working on an independent basis. As an independent consultant they are typically paid on an hourly or per project basis. Agricultural consultants working for a firm may receive standard benefits including paid vacation and medical coverage. It is also common for them to be paid bonuses.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesAgribusiness, Environment, and Natural Resources