Agriculture and Natural Resources Icon

Because agriculture is California’s most important economic industry, California is often called the breadbasket of the world. If you love nature, animals, or growing things, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Sector may hold a great career for you.

A strong demand exists for well-trained, environmentally-sensitive individuals to provide the state, nation, and world with food, fiber,and a healthy environment. The Agriculture and Natural Resources Sector provides a foundation for agriculture students in California. This sector emphasizes real-world, occupationally-relevant experiences. Classroom and laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural experience, projects, leadership, and interpersonal skill development activities prepare students for advanced training, higher education, and entry to a career.

Career Pathways

Agricultural business students will find many job opportunities in the managerial and financial ranks. Agriculture in the United States is big business that is becoming international in scope. If you are interested in traveling to other countries, agricultural business might be the perfect career for you.

Careers/Career Areas:

  • Landscape Managers
  • Economists
  • Ag Marketing
  • Sales
  • Farm Realty
  • Banking
  • Appraisers
  • Floral Shop Owners
  • Timber Managers
  • Aquaculture
  • Fisheries Managers
  • Farm Managers
  • Accounting
  • Irrigation Managers
  • Product Brokers/Buyers
  • Agricultural Lending Officers

Today’s agricultural engineering and power equipment industry uses complex technology that combines fabrication, hydraulic power, electronic controls, and powerful engines. Getting your hands dirty may be necessary, but your knowledge will play a larger role in finding a successful career in agricultural mechanics. Technicians are needed to diagnose, test, and repair equipment. Mechanical skills needed for construction, operation, maintenance, and repair of agricultural equipment involving wood, metal, concrete, electrical, plumbing, and welding are all part of an agricultural mechanics career.

Careers/Career Areas:

  • Equipment Fabricators
  • Land Leveling
  • Irrigation Engineers
  • Equipment Operators
  • Welding/Metal Fabrication
  • Power System Mechanics
  • Irrigation System Designers
  • Precision Farming Technicians
  • Trouble Shooting

Agriscience is the basis of past and future developments in agriculture. It provides a broad understanding of agricultural knowledge, develops awareness of career opportunities in agriculture, while providing occupationally relevant experiences, cooperative group learning, and leadership skills. Many agricultural scientists work in basic or applied research and development. All agriculture related careers benefit from knowledge and experience in the Agriscience Pathway.

Careers/Career Areas:

  • Enology
  • Ag Chemicals
  • Plant Propagation
  • Plant/Animal Genetics
  • Agriculture Pest Management
  • Hydraulic Engineers
  • Food Processing
  • Production Management
  • Biotechnology

Animal production for food, fiber, recreation, and companionship is represented in the Animal Science Pathway. Knowledge of the diet, genetics, habitat, anatomy, physiology, nutrition, production, behavior, health, and welfare of large, small, and specialty animals, birds, and poultry is part of career preparation in the Animal Science Pathway.

Careers/Career Areas:

  • Animal Breeding
  • Artificial Insemination
  • Fishing
  • Fish Farming
  • Cattle Ranching
  • Horseshoeing
  • Pack Station
  • Poultry Farming
  • Meat Inspectors
  • Animal Nutritionists
  • Zoo and Veterinary Work and Management
  • Animal Trainers

Forestry and natural resources workers need an understanding of the relationships between humans, the environment, and natural resources. Water resources and management, soil conservation, wildlife preservation and management, forest and fire management, and lumber production are all related to the conservation, use, and protection of our natural resources.

Careers/Career Areas:

  • Park Rangers
  • Ski Resort Managers
  • Firefighters
  • Surveyors
  • Logging
  • Range/Timber Managers
  • Hydrologists
  • Campground Managers
  • Ecologists
  • Guides
  • Grounds Workers
  • Environmental Engineers
  • Forest Resources Technologists

What is the difference between a weed and a flower? They say it is all in the eye of the beholder! Ornamental horticulture workers are involved in the development, production, and maintenance of nursery, landscaping, and floral industry related products. Necessary knowledge of related areas include plant identification, plant physiology, soil science, plant reproduction, as well as landscaping design, installation, and maintenance.

Careers/Career Areas:

  • Floriculture
  • Landscape Design
  • Tree Trimming
  • Entomologists
  • Plant Curators
  • Floral Designers
  • Nursery Production
  • Greenhouse Work
  • Landscaping and Grounds Keeping
  • Golf Course and Park Management
  • Plant and Turf Propagation and Sales
  • Retail Nursery Work

The Plant and Soil Science Pathway involves plant classification, physiology, reproduction, plant breeding, biotechnology, pest management, and pathology. Workers in this area must also learn about soil management, water, pests, and equipment, as well as cultural and harvest practices.

Careers/Career Areas:

  • Soil Conservation
  • Plant Biologists
  • Horticulturists
  • Entomology
  • Irrigation
  • Soil Nutrition
  • Turf Grass Production
  • Viticulture
  • Pest Control Advisors
  • Botanists
  • Ag Field Representatives
  • Orchardists
  • Waste Water Specialists
  • Crop Farmers

Labor Market Information

The information below is just a small sample of the many great employment related resources available on the State of California website www.edd.ca.gov. We encourage you to visit the website and explore the available information.

Occupation Title Employment Levels in 2006 Projected Employment Level 2016 Projected Job Growth Percent of Job Growth 2008 Hourly ¹Mean Wage 2008 ²Weekly Mean Wage 2008 ³Monthly Mean Wage 2008 Annual Mean Wage
Agricultural Equipment Operators
15,800 15,900 0.6% $11.39 $455.60 $1,913.52 $22,962.20
Animal Breeders
0.0% $18.84 $753.60 $3,165.12 $37,981.40
Bookkeeping/accounting clerks
232,500 267,500 15.1% $18.15 $726.00 $3,049.20 $36,590.40
conservation Scientist
1,000 1,100 10.0% $32.92 $1,316.80 $5,530.56 $66,366.70
Environmental Engineers
4,800 6,000 25.0% $39.69 $1,587.60 $6,667.92 $80,015.00
Farm Equipment Mechanics
2,400 2,400 0.0% $17.67 $706.80 $2,968.56 $35,622.70
Farm Managers
41,500 47,600 14.7% $34.40 $1,376.00 $5,779.20 $69,350.40
Farm product Brokers/Buyers
1,300 1,500 15.4% $29.46 $1,178.40 $4,949.28 $59,391.40
Firefighters
26,700 31,600 18.4% $30.16 $1,206.40 $5,066.88 $60,802.60
Fishers & Fishing Workers
1,500 1,400 -6.7% $14.56 $582.40 $2,446.08 $29,353.00
Floral Designers
7,700 8,500 10.4% $13.92 $556.80 $2,338.56 $28,062.70
Food Scientist
1,100 1,300 18.2% $34.20 $1,368.00 $5,745.60 $68,947.20
Forest Technicians
5,800 6,100 5.2% $17.72 $708.80 $2,976.96 $35,723.50
Hydrologist
1,000 1,300 30.0% $38.07 $1,522.80 $6,395.76 $76,749.10
Landscape Architect
4,400 4,900 11.4% $32.33 $1,293.20 $5,431.44 $65,177.30
Landscaping & Grounds Keeping
166,000 194,500 17.2% $12.58 $503.20 $2,113.44 $25,361.30
Landscaping/Grounds Supervisor
22,300 25,800 15.7% $22.40 $896.00 $3,763.20 $45,158.40
Liquid Waste Treatment Workers
8,300 9,900 19.3% $25.80 $1,032.00 $4,334.40 $52,012.80
Metal Fabricators
8,000 8,600 7.5% $17.85 $714.00 $2,998.80 $35,985.60
Real Estate Agents
24,700 27,100 9.7% $33.75 $1,350.00 $5,670.00 $68,040.00
Slaughterers & meat packers
3,300 3,600 9.1% $11.12 $444.80 $1,868.16 $22,417.90
Soil & Plant Scientist
2,100 2,500 19.0% $36.48 $1,459.20 $6,128.64 $73,543.70
Surveyors
5,900 6,700 13.6% $34.83 $1,393.20 $5,851.44 $70,217.30
Veterinary Technologist & Technicians
8,200 11,500 40.2% $16.42 $656.80 $2,758.56 $33,102.70