[NEW] Explore a brand new tool that will allow you to discover Ag, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) career pathways and learn about the career options in each path. You can get tips to plan your education as well as take a reality check tool that will help you explore whether or not you can achieve your desired lifestyle based on your career of interest. You can also use the tool to learn how to achieve your goals through specific career and education choices. In addition, we have teacher resources avaialble to guide students through career exploration in AFNR. Those resources can be found here.
Scroll below so we can guide you in the right direction for your future in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
AFNR Career Pathway Brochures
(available in 4 languages)
Environmental Service Systems
- Soil Science
- Environmental Science
- Wind Energy Technology
- Aquatic Biology
- Water / Wastewater Engineer:
$94,000 - $138,000
- Pest Controller:
$34,000 - $45,000
- Environmental Educator:
$54,000 - $71,000
- Garbage Collector:
$28,000 - $40,000
- Environmental Regulatory Compliance Specialist:
$73,000 - $92,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for environmental system occupations is about $92,000.
Pathway focused on preventing the harmful effects of human activities; knowledge of science and engineering.
- Life Science / Evolutionary Biology
- Biology and Biotechnology
$90,000 - $120,000
- Chemical Technicians:
$38,000 - $46,000
- Plant Operator:
$31,000 - $39,000
- Process Engineer:
$113,000 - $145,000
- Polymer Application Technologist:
$91,000 - $123,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for biofuel system occupations is about $63,000.
Pathway enhances plants, animals and microorganisms; have a strong interest and background in how science can modify an organism’s genetic composition.
Power, Structural and Technical Systems
- UAS / UAV
- Welding and Fabrication
- Applied Engineering / Drafting
- Precision Agriculture / GIS / GPS
- Diesel / Heavy Equipment Mechanics
- Field Service Technician:
$43,000 - $56,000
- Automation / Robotics Engineer:
$97,000 - $130,000
- Wind Turbine Technician:
$43,000 - $60,000
- Energy Engineer:
$88,000 - $170,000
- Lead Grain Elevator Operator:
$51,000 - $78,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for power, structural, and technical system occupations is about $71,000.
Apply knowledge of engineering, hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics, power, structures and controls to agriculture. Innovate, design and build solutions.
Natural Resources Systems
- Wildlife Ecology
- Urban Forestry
- Land Surveying / Geospatial Analysis
- Forestry / Natural Resources
- Natural Resources Law Enforcement
- Environmental Inspector:
$41,000 - $57,000
- Natural Resources Manager:
$100,000 - $163,000
- Wildlife Inspector:
$73,000 - $104,000
- Land Surveyors:
$60,000 - $82,000
- Biologist / Environmental Resource Specialist:
$73,000 - $116,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for natural resource system occupations is about $57,500.
Maintain and manage natural environment; work in urban and rural settings, in the field and in the lab. Protecting wildlife, maintaining parks.
- Agricultural Science
- Law / Regulation
- Agribusiness Management
- Agricultural Education
- Sales / Marketing
- Accounting / Finance / Insurance
- Product Demonstrator:
$29,000 - $34,000
- Marketing / Product Manager:
$111,00 - $164,000
- Plant Accountant:
$58,000 - $87,000
- Food & Beverage Presales Consultant:
$82,000 - $106,000
- Safety & Industrial Hygiene Representative:
$69,000 - $106,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for agribusiness occupations is about $60,000.
Careers in this pathway determine effective use of resources for profit, work in teams and using high-tech tools to increase efficiency
- Equine Science
- Animal Science
- Veterinary Technician
- Dairy, Lamb, Wool, Swine Management
$85,000 - $105,000
- Veterinary Technician:
$40,000 - $53,000
- Animal Breeding Technician:
$40,000 - $50,000
- Dog Trainer:
$28,000 - $38,000
- Animal Control Officer:
$49,000 - $73,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for animal system occupations is about $57,500.
Working with and caring for animals of all sizes; opportunities to work directly with animals or to work with products from animals.
- Plant Science
- Commodity Marketing
- Grounds Management
- Horticulture / Green House Management
- Landscape Design / Construction / Technology
- Agronomist / Soil & Plant Scientist:
$79,000 - $109,000
- Arborist / Tree Worker:
$53,000 - $59,000
- Plant Health Care Technician:
$32,000 - $40,000
- Grain Plant Operator:
$41,000 - $58,000
- Agriculture Mechanic:
$45,000 - $60,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for plant system occupations is about $48,000.
Study plants and how they impact our world. Feed our growing population; monitor food quality and safety; develop insect resistant crops; grow more food with less space; conserve natural resources.
Food Products and Processing Systems
- Culinary Arts
- Food Science
- Accounting / Finance
- Food Processing Safety
- Food Service Management
- Communications and Marketing
- Head Cook:
$36,000 - $53,000
- Meat, Seafood, and Poultry Packer:
$31,000 - $37,000
- Food / Consumer Safety Inspector:
$59,000 - $69,000
- Baker and Packer Associate:
$31,000 - $38,000
- Poultry Plant / Grain Operations Manager:
$47,000 - $70,000
The median advertised salary in Minnesota for food system occupations is about $47,000.
Study the physical, biological and chemical makeup of foods to improve food safety, create better processes, and enhance nutritional value and shelf-life: develop new flavors.
Source: Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Career Cluster - August 2021
Are you going in the right direction?
Explore a future career in Agriculture!
- According to USDA/Purdue University Study Agricultural students make up about 1% of the total number of students enrolled in postsecondary education.
- But there are 2x as many diverse job opportunities as there are qualified graduates to fill them!
- According to AgCareers.com 59% of agricultural companies expect their workforce to increase in size in the next 2 years.
Top 3 Majors for two year programs
- Ag Business
- Ag Production/Operations
Top 3 Majors for four year programs
- Animal Science
- Ag Business
- Food Science
Agriculture Is The Nation’s Largest Employer
with more than 23 Million Jobs [that’s 17% of the civilian workforce] involved in some facet of American agriculture.
(Data by National FFA Organization)
Agricultural Career Pathways
Critical Foundation Knowledge and Skills Identified by Employers:
Problem Solving - Ethics - Critical Thinking - Integrity - Teamwork - Technology Application - Safety, Health, & Environment - Organizational & Global Systems - Leadership - Cultural Competence - Lifelong Learning - Creativity - Communications - Innovation
Thanks to our partner, AgCentric, here is a listing of Minnesota State College Post Secondary Ag, Food and Natural Resources instructors along with their contact information.
Recruitment and Outreach