How to Become an Agricultural Extension Supervisor


If you want to become an agricultural extension supervisor, you’ll need to first determine if this career is right for you.


Are you interested in agriculture? Are you interested in a career that allows you to balance working indoors and working outdoors? Does a career that allows you to help agricultural business owners improve their ability to make a living appeal to you?


If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then you’re well suited for a career in this field


Below we've outlined almost everything you need to know regarding how to begin your career as an agricultural extension supervisor. We've included helpful information relevant to this career, such as job description, job duties, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Work in This Field

Typically, you must have at minimum a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in an area such as agriculture, forestry, environmental engineering, 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 consulting or advisory 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.





Agricultural Extension Supervisor Job Description

Agricultural extension supervisors play a crucial role in promoting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of economic growth. Agricultural extension supervisors are responsible for advising, instructing, and assisting individuals and families engaged in agriculture or agricultural-related processes.



General Job Duties Involved in This Work

• Schedule and make periodic visits to farmers

• Demonstrate feeding techniques and instruct on proper health maintenance of livestock

• Demonstrate and teach proper growing and harvesting practices

• Advise farmers concerning financial planning and management

• Assist farmers with soil and herbage collection for sampling purposes

• Assist farmers with the purchase and sale of supplies and goods

• Conduct agricultural research, analyze data, and prepare research reports based on findings

• Act as an advocate for farmers or farmers' groups

• Conduct field demonstrations of new products, techniques or services



Who Hires Agricultural Extension Supervisors?

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


• Agricultural consulting and advisory firms

• Agricultural institutions

• Colleges and universities

• Community education groups

• Farming and agricultural research centres

• Government agencies

• Independent farmers

• Non-profit and non-governmental organizations





Career Advancement Opportunities in This Field

Agricultural extension supervisors that have gained a significant amount of experience may advance to positions of more responsibility. This may include positions involving a larger geographic territory, directorships, or program leadership management roles. They may also decide to begin their own agricultural consulting firm. 



Common Working Conditions

Agricultural extension supervisors typically work normal weekday working hours, although their duties may require them to work evenings and weekends.


Work within this profession may take place both indoors and outdoors, so agricultural extension supervisors must be prepared to deal with changing weather conditions and extreme temperatures.


Fieldwork may involve working around large animals and large equipment, which implies some risk of injury while performing their job duties. Some knowledge of animal behavior and farm equipment safety can help to reduce the chance of injury.


Agricultural extension supervisors may be required to travel quite a bit to perform their job duties, especially if they are assigned to a large territory. Travel may be for the purpose of visiting farms, ranches, hatcheries, dairies, stables, orchards, fields, bee farms, aquaculture facilities, and a variety of other agricultural business locations during the course of their day.


They may also be required to attend a variety of community activities such as conventions, fairs and college events.



Job Postings - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "Agricultural Extension Supervisor" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Agricultural Extension Supervisor Salary

The salary level of agricultural extension supervisors can vary greatly depending on factors such as their level of experience and education, where they work, and many others.


Salary - United States: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, the average salary for extension agents holding a Bachelor’s degree was $44,293 in December 2010. Extension agents holding a Master’s degree averaged $57,889 in 2010. Those holding a PhD degree fared the best with an average salary of $69,375.



Similar Occupations in Our Database

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


Agricultural Consultant






References for This Guide

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an agricultural extension supervisor.


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Agricultural Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock Workers.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 20, 2019.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Management:Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 20, 2019.

Topic:Agricultural Extension.” (n.d.). International Food Policy Research Institute website. Retrieved October 20, 2019.

Agricultural Administration: “Supervising Agricultural Extension: Practices and Procedures for Improving Field Performance.” George Honadle (December 15, 2004. Science Direct website. Retrieved October 20, 2019.



Relevant Scholarships

Scholarships in our system that are relevant for becoming an agricultural extension supervisor are all of those that can be found on our Environmental Science Scholarships and Geography 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!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming an agricultural extension supervisor. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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