15 Highest-Paying Jobs in Agriculture

Updated March 10, 2023

Image description

A person secures a protective barrier around a recently planted tree.

Working in agriculture offers diverse opportunities where you can earn a substantial income. With the increase of technology use and application on farms, in plants and within agricultural businesses across the industry, more agriculture industry jobs are becoming available that span a variety of fields. From scientific and tech to business and management, various backgrounds can find a fulfilling career working in agriculture today.

In this article, we’ll cover 15 of the highest-paying jobs in agriculture to help you research and possibly find a right career path in agriculture for you.

What is agricultural work?

Essentially, agricultural work refers to the processing, harvesting and production of crops and food products such as dairy and meat products. Many processes and applications occur within the agricultural industry that call for diverse roles. For instance, a commercial farm may provide a variety of different jobs to operate the business like management, technical, customer service and labor-related roles.

Related: 12 Careers in Agriculture To Explore

What are some of the highest-paying jobs in agriculture?

Here are 15 of the highest-paying jobs in agriculture:

1. Farm manager

National average salary: $48,093 per year

Primary duties: Farm managers are the professionals responsible for directing and overseeing the operations on a farm. These managers will delegate tasks like planting, fertilizing and harvesting crops among farm staff. In addition to labor tasks, farm managers will also manage budgets, purchase materials and interact and maintain relationships with vendors and clients.

2. Forester

National average salary: $48,380 per year

Primary duties: Foresters play critical roles in conservation efforts and land management and rehabilitation. These professionals develop, plan and implement various projects that work to protect and maintain the environment, include monitoring wildlife habitats and agricultural effects on wildlife, suppressing wildfires and performing conservation tasks to protect wildlife, ecosystems and agricultural land.

3. Agricultural specialist

National average salary: $53,298 per year

Primary duties: An agricultural specialist is a trained Customs and Border Patrol professional and is responsible for ensuring imported agricultural products comply with United States policies on imports. These CBP officers will locate, identify and mitigate agricultural threats before they enter the country.

4. Water treatment specialist

National average salary: $53,916 per year

Primary duties: Water treatment specialists supervise and perform installations and monitor the operation of water purification and filtration equipment. They also manage water distribution and storage processes to ensure the safety and efficacy of drinking water and water resources.

5. Food technologist

National average salary: $55,804 per year

Primary duties: Food technologists research, evaluate and analyze the chemical, biological and physical composition of food products. These agriculture professionals develop the methods companies use to safely process, package and distribute food products to consumers.

6. Environmental scientist

National average salary: $65,048 per year

Primary duties: Environmental scientists apply the scientific method and their knowledge of ecology, biology and additional disciplines to protecting the environment. These professionals often assist in the cleanup of polluted areas, the advocacy of wildlife habitats and the research and development of agricultural practices that will have the least harmful impacts on the natural environment.

7. Water resources engineer

National average salary: $66,888 per year

Primary duties: A water resource engineer will develop and design new systems and equipment for water resource management facilities. These engineers implement systems that provide communities with a clean water supply and monitor and improve the equipment and these systems for optimum performance.

8. Operations manager

National average salary: $67,149 per year

Primary duties: An operations manager in the agricultural industry will often be the professional who directs, plans and coordinates operations on farms and other agricultural sites. These agricultural professionals will often supervise and lead staff in planting, fertilizing, harvesting and transporting crops and other agricultural products.

Related: Learn About Being an Operations Manager

9. Ecologist

National average salary: $69,561 per year

Primary duties: Ecologists play an important role in environmental conservation. These professionals study and analyze the environment and its ecosystems, and they work to determine the best approaches to land conservation and preservation in relation to agricultural activities.

Related: Learn About Being an Ecologist

10. Agronomy manager

National average salary: $79,709 per year

Primary duties: An agronomy manager is a sales and management professional who provides agronomic products and advice to customers in the agricultural industry, such as farmers and commercial food growers. These professionals offer support and product advice on fertilizers, soil nutrients, seeds and other agricultural products.

Related: What You Need To Know About Becoming an Agronomist

11. Grower

National average salary: $80,983 per year

Primary duties: A grower or farmer is an agricultural professional who is responsible for planting, raising, harvesting and distributing crops for consumption, animal food and medicines. Growers maintain farms and monitor crops to prevent disease and ensure optimum nutrition so they are safe for distribution.

12. Agricultural equipment technician

National average salary: $86,919 per year

Primary duties: Agricultural equipment technicians work with farm equipment and machinery. These professionals work with modern and technological equipment that requires them to assemble, operate and maintain it, and they may also assist with equipment design projects.

13. Agribusiness manager

National average salary: $96,184 per year

Primary duties: Agribusiness managers are business managers who work specifically for agricultural businesses and organizations. These professionals are responsible for the business analysis, financial, marketing and employment aspects of an agricultural business, such as a farm or a nursery.

Related: Learn About Being a Business Development Manager

14. Veterinarian

National average salary: $112,070 per year

Primary duties: Veterinarians in the agricultural industry work with ranchers and livestock producers to monitor animals' health and provide medical care. Agricultural veterinarians often aid in disease and pathogen prevention, animal vaccination and other routine examinations and treatments to livestock.

Related: Learn About Being a Veterinarian

15. Biostatistician

National average salary: $145,184 per year

Primary duties: Biostatisticians in agriculture analyze and implement various strategies based on their statistical studies of food growth, production, processing and consumption. These professionals research and analyze information about various aspects of food and livestock production to develop approaches to support public health.

Related: Learn About Being a Biostatistician

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.

Explore more articles

  • 10 Types of Health Care Facilities for a Medical Career
  • What Does a Staff Engineer Do? (With Duties, Skills and Benefits)
  • Different Levels of Scientists (And How To Become One)
  • 9 Highest-Paying Travel Nursing Jobs To Consider Pursing
  • 16 Best Office Jobs Without a Degree (With Salaries)
  • M.D. vs. PhD Degrees: What Are the Key Differences?
  • 6 IT Jobs in Health Care (Plus How To Pursue Them)
  • 10 Types of Employment Contracts
  • 15 Types of Manager Jobs
  • How To Advance from Dental Assistant To Dental Hygienist
  • 12 Highest-Paid Jobs in Biotechnology (With Salaries)
  • How To Become a Police Officer in Texas in 6 Steps