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Career and Education Opportunities for Agricultural Engineers in Modesto, California

There are many career and education opportunities for agricultural engineers in the Modesto, California area. The national trend for agricultural engineers sees this job pool growing by about 12.1% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for agricultural engineers is about $36 hourly or $75,860 annually on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $33 hourly or $68,730 per year. Earnings for agricultural engineers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Engineering in California and not quite as good as general Engineering category earnings nationally. People working as agricultural engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: landscape irrigation science professor, project engineer, and research agricultural engineer.

There are twenty-one schools of higher education in the Modesto area, including one within twenty-five miles of Modesto where you can get a degree to start your career as an agricultural engineer. Agricultural engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Modesto include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Landscape Architect. Plan and design land areas for such projects as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
  • 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 the Pacific - Stockton, CA

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95211-0197. University of the Pacific is a medium sized university located in Stockton, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,251 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of the Pacific has a bachelor's degree program in Agricultural/Biological Engineering and Bioengineering.


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.


Agricultural Engineer

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95833-2944

Phone: (916) 263-2222
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors


Modesto, California
Modesto, California photo by Foolishfish

Modesto is located in Stanislaus County, California. It has a population of over 202,967, which has grown by 7.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Modesto, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Modesto cost $208,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirteen new homes were constructed in Modesto, down from two hundred eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Modesto 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 26 minutes. More than 16.5% of Modesto residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Modesto is 14.4%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Modesto residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Livingway Tabernacle, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Bethel Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Modesto. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Assemblies of God.

Modesto is home to the King-Kennedy Center and the McClure Historical Country House as well as Muncy Park and John Muir Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Shopping Center, Gregory Gardens Shopping Center and Western Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Modesto can choose from Best Western Town House Lodge, Apex Inn and Arrow Inn for temporary stays in the area.