Best Online Associate in Agriculture Programs
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Earning an online associate in agriculture can lead to careers in agricultural sales and merchandising, livestock management, and agribusiness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers earn a median annual salary of $71,160.
This guide explores some of the best online associate in agriculture programs, covering topics like common courses, admission requirements, and potential career paths.
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What Are the Best Agriculture Programs? Here Are Our Top Five:
|#1||Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA|
|#2||Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE|
|#3||Allen Community College Iola, KS|
|#4||Casper College Casper, WY|
|#5||Holmes Community College Goodman, MS|
Related Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Core courses in an agriculture associate program often cover topics like soil science, biology, and agricultural management. As such, graduates can pursue careers in fields related to farming, food science, and agricultural technology.
According to the BLS, the annual median wage among agriculture and food science technicians is $41,230. These positions are projected to grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028.
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2020 Best Accredited Online Associate in Agriculture Programs
Online Associate in Agriculture Program Overview
The best online associate in agriculture programs prepare graduates to pursue entry-level agriculture jobs or to enroll in four-year programs in a related field.
The curriculum of online associate degrees in agriculture typically include coursework in soil science, agricultural marketing, farming, chemistry, and animal science. Programs may also feature popular career concentrations, such as sustainable farming, agricultural technology, and agribusiness. Some agriculture students can find internship opportunities through their school, gaining practical experience at a local facility.
Most jobs in agriculture do not require more than an associate degree for entry-level employment. Therefore, many students in this field choose not to earn a bachelor's degree.
Learners who do pursue a four-year degree may aspire to own and operate a large-scale corporate or industrial farm; these students may be interested in a concentration like agricultural economics. Individuals can also prepare for advanced research positions by earning a degree in agricultural biology.
Common Associate in Agriculture Degree Courses
Agriculture and Food Management
This course teaches students the skills needed to work in agriculture and food management careers, including those related to information management and financial analysis.
Principles of Soil Science
This course introduces students to the principles of soil science, including the impact of humans on soil and the chemical, biological, and physical properties of soil. Students develop a broad understanding of the importance of soil science applications in water purification, agricultural engineering, and sustainable agriculture.
This course explores common farm implements used by farmers, ranchers, and agricultural industries. Students learn how to operate, maintain, adjust, and calibrate different pieces of farm equipment.
This course explores the ways in which organisms interact with their environment, typically drawing on core principles of the natural and physical sciences. Many programs also examine subjects like sustainability and environmental science, considering both micro-environments and macro-environments from a global perspective.
AG Safety and Health
Crucial for all aspiring agricultural workers, AG safety and health coursework outlines common risks associated with day-to-day labor in the field. This class explores hazards like livestock behavior, pesticides, heavy machinery, and maneuvering in controlled spaces. Students learn about preventive and corrective strategies and maintenance.
Online Associate in Agriculture Admission Requirements
High School Diploma
A high school diploma (or the equivalent) is a common requirement for first-year students. Meeting this requirement demonstrates to colleges that an applicant is prepared for college-level coursework.
Some online associate in agriculture programs require applicants to submit a resume or statement of purpose with their application. Schools that use a more holistic admissions process account for an applicant's resume along with their academic qualifications. A statement of purpose can help an admissions office better understand why a student wants to pursue an agriculture major.
A minimum GPA is a common admission requirement for online associate in agriculture programs. While minimum requirements vary by school and program, a 2.0 GPA is a typical cutoff.
ACT or SAT Scores
Some schools allow students to decide which test scores to submit, while others indicate a preference. Some colleges set a minimum score requirement on the ACT or SAT, while others do not require standardized test scores at all.
Online associate in agriculture programs do not typically require prerequisite coursework specific to agriculture. However, some schools require students to have completed general introductory college courses in subjects like math and English; students who do not meet these requirements may need to take placement tests prior to enrolling.
Online Associate in Agriculture Career Paths
Students who earn an online associate in agriculture qualify for a variety of careers in the field. Many jobs — from entry-level to more advanced positions — only require an associate degree.
In agriculture, workers often advance their careers by gaining experience instead of by earning a more advanced degree. Graduates may begin as agricultural workers to accumulate field experience before pursuing careers as farmers, ranchers, agricultural managers, and agricultural and food science technicians.
Additionally, some professionals choose to pursue certification as an accredited farm manager.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with an associate degree in agriculture?
Earning an associate degree in agriculture can lead to careers in farming, livestock and agricultural management, and merchandising and marketing in the field. Associate degrees in agriculture may offer diverse concentration options, allowing students to tailor coursework to match their interests.
How long does it take to get an agriculture degree?
It takes most students two years to earn an associate degree in agriculture. However, some programs offer accelerated delivery methods that can speed up this timeline.
Is an agriculture degree worth it?
Agriculture degrees offer a variety of specializations, preparing students for many positions in the field. Workers who gain experience and assume managerial roles can take home salaries that are well above the national average for all occupations.
What are the highest-paying jobs in agriculture?
Graduates with an associate degree in agriculture may qualify for advanced positions as farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers, earning more than $70,000 per year. Agricultural engineers need a bachelor's degree and specialized experience, but these workers top the list of earners in the field, taking home median wages of more than $80,000.
How much does an agriculture major make?
An individual's potential earnings depend on many variables, including their location, education, and area of agricultural expertise. Many agricultural workers in entry-level positions earn median salaries between $25,000 and $30,000, while agricultural and food science technicians typically earn more than $40,000 per year.
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