Agricultural and food scientists play an important role in maintaining and expanding the nation’s food supply. Many work in basic or applied research and development. Basic research seeks to understand the biological and chemical processes by which crops and livestock grow. Applied research seeks to discover ways to improve the quality, quantity, and safety of agricultural products.
Agricultural and food scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution, although many earn advanced degrees. Some animal scientists earn a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree.
Overall employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow as research into agricultural production methods and techniques continues.
Agricultural and food scientists work in laboratories, in offices, and in the field. Most agricultural and food scientists work full time.