Employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow as research into agricultural production methods and techniques continues. Pressures such as population growth, increased demand for water resources, combating pests and pathogens, changes in climate and weather patterns, and additional demand for agriculture products, such as biofuels, will continue to spur improvements in agricultural efficiency and sustainability.
Animal scientists will be needed to investigate and improve the diets, living conditions, and even genetic makeup of livestock. Food scientists and technologists will work to improve food-processing techniques, ensuring that products are safe, waste is limited, and food is shipped efficiently and safely. Soil and plant scientists will continue to try to understand and map soil composition. They will investigate ways to improve soils and will continue to selectively breed crops to resist pests and disease, improve taste, or to find uses for byproducts.
A number of job vacancies will arise because many scientists are expected to retire within the next 10 years.
Agricultural and Food Scientists
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Agricultural and food scientists
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program