How to Become an Agricultural Consultant


To become an agricultural consultant, you must have a natural interest in ecology, agriculture, the environment, and farming.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in this field. We've included helpful information relevant to agricultural consultant careers, such as job description, job duties, a list of possible employers and much more!



Agricultural Consultant Job Description

Agricultural consultants, sometimes referred to as agribusiness experts, are responsible for offering support, advice and solutions to farmers and other agricultural professionals to ensure that their agribusiness runs as efficiently as possible. Agricultural consultants may be involved in helping their clients with duties such as designing irrigation systems, advising on pest and disease control and environmental or farm auditing. Some agricultural consultants may offer laboratory services such as pathology testing and soil analysis.



General Job Duties

• Confer with clients to gain thorough understanding of their business needs and technical requirements

• Assist clients with business planning, grant applications and advice pertaining to relevant legislation

• Organize and conduct field trials to find solutions to clients’ problems

• Collect and analyze data, crop yield and financial reports to measure performance

• Manage budgets and accounts

• Obtain new clients by conducting marketing campaigns and promotional activities

• Prepare advisory brochures and leaflets

• Organize presentations, demonstrations, training, and farm walks for clients, colleagues, partnership organizations and professional bodies 



Education You'll Likely Need

Typically, to become an agricultural consultant you must have at minimum a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in an area such as agriculture, forestry, environmental science, natural resource management or a similar field, and at least 3 years of experience in an area of specialization.


A master’s degree in your area of specialization may or may not be a requirement for employment with an agricultural consultant firm, depending on the discretion of the employer. If the firm you wish to work for does not require you to have a master’s, they will almost certainly consider it a great asset.


Training or certification as a project manager may also be a requirement to get a job in this field, as much of the work is project based.





How to Get a Job as an Agricultural Consultant

Before you apply with any agricultural consulting firm, or start your own, you will need to have an established reputation within your area of focus. Once you are confident that you have enough education, experience, training and a solid reputation, you can begin to make a list of agricultural consulting firms that you would like to work for.


As an aspiring agricultural consultant, you can choose to apply for a job with a small consulting firm, a large multi-national firm, or you if you have enough capital, experience and contacts you can start your own consulting firm.



Who Hires Agricultural Consultants?

The following types of individuals and organizations typically utilize the services of agricultural consultants:


• Agribusiness firms

• Agricultural institutions

• Farming research centres

• Government agencies

• Independent farmers





Skills You'll Need to Be Successful

Even with the right education and opportunity, becoming successful in this field is not guaranteed. If you’re reading the list of skills listed below, and you recognize many of the traits in yourself, you may be well suited for a career as an agricultural consultant.


• Must have a keen interest in all aspects of agriculture

• Bilingualism is considered an asset

• Must be interested in keeping up to date with industry trends and developments

• Must be comfortable working both indoors and outdoors

• Excellent organization and communication skills

• Enjoy working and liaising with other agricultural professionals

• Must be able to work independently or as part of a team

• Must be able to oversee multiple projects simultaneously



Typical Salary Level

It's difficult to determine how much agricultural consultants make, as it is very difficult to acquire accurate information regarding the salary levels of these professionals, the U.S Labor and Statistics reports that the median salary for Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers, who typically perform duties very similar to those of agricultural consultants, was $60,750 USD per year.


In Canada, the numbers are a little different. According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, the average overall salary for workers in the Agricultural Representatives, Consultants and Specialists occupational group was $92,817. 


Please Note: Salary levels can vary greatly for agricultural consultants, depending on their level of education, who their employer is, and the amount of experience they have.



Agricultural Consulting Jobs

Our job board below has "agricultural consultant" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.





Similar Professions in Our Database

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to that of an agricultural consultant, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.



Forestry Consultant

Land Manager

Natural Resources Manager

Range Manager



References for This Career Guide

Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an agricultural consultant.


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Agricultural Representatives, Consultants and Specialists.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 20, 2019.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Management:Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers.” (September 10, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 20, 2019.

CAC Designation:What is a Certified Agricultural Consultant?” (n.d.). Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CMC-Canada) website. Retrieved October 20, 2019.

Job Descriptions:Agricultural Consultant/Adviser.” (n.d.). GradIreland website. Retrieved October 20, 2019.




Scholarships for Relevant Fields of Study

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming an Agricultural Consultant can be found on our Botany Scholarships and Environmental Science Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for getting into this line of work. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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