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Career and Education Opportunities for Agricultural Engineers in Tucson, Arizona

If you want to be an agricultural engineer, the Tucson, Arizona area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for agricultural engineers sees this job pool growing by about 12.1% over the next eight years. Agricultural engineers generally apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.

Agricultural engineers earn about $38 per hour or $80,030 yearly on average in Arizona and about $33 per hour or $68,730 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for agricultural engineers are better than earnings in the general category of Engineering in Arizona and not quite as good as general Engineering category earnings nationally. People working as agricultural engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: research leader, agricultural systems specialist, and agricultural equipment test engineer.

The Tucson area is home to twenty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree as an agricultural engineer. The most common level of education for agricultural engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be an agricultural engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Agricultural Engineer

Agricultural Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, agricultural engineers apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.

Agricultural engineers meet with clients such as district or regional councils, farmers, and developers, to consider their needs. They also furnish advice on water quality and issues pertaining to pollution management and ground and surface water resources. Equally important, agricultural engineers have to conduct educational programs that furnish farmers or farm cooperative members with data that can help them improve agricultural productivity. They are often called upon to ready reports and budgets for proposed sites or systems. They are expected to layout sensing and recording devices, and other instrumentation used to study plant or animal life. Finally, agricultural engineers layout and supervise environmental and land reclamation projects in agriculture and related industries.

Every day, agricultural engineers are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.

Agricultural engineers sometimes are asked to layout agricultural machinery components and equipment using computer-aided layout (CAD) technology. They also have to be able to layout structures for crop storage, animal shelter and loading, and animal and crop processing, and supervise their construction and visit sites to monitor environmental problems, to confer with contractors, or to track construction efforts. And finally, they sometimes have to test agricultural machinery and apparatus to insure adequate performance.

Like many other jobs, agricultural engineers must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tucson include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Landscape Architect. Plan and design land areas for such projects as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Agricultural Engineer Training

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona, 1401 E University, Tucson, AZ 85721-0066. University of Arizona is a large university located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 38,057 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of Arizona has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Agricultural/Biological Engineering and Bioengineering which graduated eleven, four, and four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Accredited Agricultural Consultant: The Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC) designation was developed and first offered by the ASFMRA in 1997.

For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.