Agricultural Careers Prove Their Place in the Salary Realm

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Wondering what you would make in a year as an employee in Ag? Read below!

Each year, participating agricultural colleges across the nation provide data to summarize entry-level salaries of recent graduates. The 2022/2023 Entry-level Salary Information for Recent Graduates in Agriculture and Related Disciplines summary, which is coordinated by Iowa State University, includes information from 16 universities. This list helps illustrate updated industry trends and provide appropriate baselines for both students and employers.

Below, you will find some key takeaways of first destination salary information for bachelor’s students who graduated in December 2022 and May 2023:

  • Of the 9 agricultural sectors in the report, all had positive gains with an overall average increase of 6.7%. Increases ranged from 1.4% (Ag Education, Communication & Studies) to 18.7% (Biological Sciences).
  • Top 5 earning sectors included:
    • Technology – $66,160 (4.2% increase)
    • Ag Economics & Business – $59,492 (6.9% increase)
    • Food Science – $57,057 (6.2% increase)
    • Agronomy – $51,578 (3.9% increase)
    • Ag Ed/Communications – $50,135 (1.4% increase)
  • The Ag Technology sector remains very strong with the highest average salary of the report.
  • The Biological Sciences had the largest average increase of 18.7%.
  • Live animal production positions had notable gains in average salary. (Poultry leads the way at $55,731).
  • Food Science continues to offer great opportunities, especially with Quality Assurance and Research & Development positions.
  • The Horticulture sector remained somewhat flat this year (following last year’s impressive gain of 18%), but solid gains were seen in the Turfgrass area.
  • The environmental Sciences, Fisheries, Forestry, and Wildlife Biology sector average saw an increase of 8.7%.
  • Average Salary for the Ag Business sector was up ~$4,000 this year with impressive increases in Business Analyst, Production Management, and Sales positions.

It’s safe to say that Agricultural-related graduates are faring well! CALS continues its efforts to prepare students for a successful career and ensure the best for their employment!