Learn. Grow. Do.

Career Pathways

[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)

Download English Brochure (2.25 MB) - UPDATED 9/2022

Download Spanish Brochure (6 MB)

Download Somali Brochure (723 KB)

Download Hmong Brochure (723 KB)

agricultural careers pathways

Environmental Service Systems

Fields

  • Hydrology
  • Soil Science
  • Meteorology
  • Environmental Science
  • Law / Regulation / Compliance
  • Aquatic Biology

Jobs

  • Environmental Waste Chemist:
    $42,000 - $52,000
  • Water Treatment Technician:
    $32,000 - $41,000
  • Environmental Utility Coordinator:
    $78,000 - $111,000
  • Transmission Line Construction Superintendent:
    $85,000 - $112,000
  • Environmental Regulatory Compliance Specialist:
    $81,000 - $106,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for environmental system occupations is about $93,000.

environmental systems career pathways

Pathway Description

Manage recycling operations, control water and air pollution, and dispose of waste to address public health issues, develop regulations to prevent environmental mishaps, analyze and research environmental projects.

Biotechnology Systems

Fields

  • Biofuels
  • Genetics
  • Physics
  • Life Science / Evolutionary Biology
  • Biology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

Jobs

  • Animal Research Technician:
    $37,000 - $48,000
  • Wet Chemical Analyst / Lab Technician:
    $36,000 - $53,000
  • Plant Operator:
    $37,000 - $43,000
  • Chief System Operator:
    $98,000 - $116,000
  • Ethanol Process Operator:
    $30,000 - $43,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for biofuel system occupations is about $64,000.

biotechnology career pathways

Pathway Description

Make use of range of tools, including breeding techniques, to make or modify products or organisms, improve plants or animals, or develop microorganisms for specific agricultural uses.

Power, Structural and Technical Systems

Fields

  • Robotics / UAS / UAV Technology
  • Power Systems / Wind and Solar Energy
  • Welding and Fabrication
  • Applied Engineering / Drafting
  • Precision Agriculture / GIS / GPS
  • Diesel / Heavy Equipment Mechanics

Jobs

  • Equipment Maintenance Technician:
    $48,000 - $61,000
  • Quality Assurance Technician:
    $35,000 - $42,000
  • Field Service Technician:
    $44,000 - $58,000
  • Nuclear Interference Transmission Coordinator:
    $49,000 - $74,000
  • Wind Turbine Technician:
    $44,000 - $60,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for power, structural, and technical system occupations is about $72,000.

power structural technical systems career pathways

Pathway Description

Apply knowledge of engineering, hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics, power, structures and controls to agriculture. Innovate, design and build solutions.

Natural Resources Systems

Fields

  • Forestry
  • Wildlife Ecology
  • Urban Forestry
  • Land Surveying / Geospatial Analysis
  • Forestry / Natural Resources
  • Natural Resources Law Enforcement

Jobs

  • Environmental Maintenance Technician:
    $48,000 - $61,000
  • Wildlife Technician:
    $35,000 - $47,000
  • Land Surveyor:
    $62,000 - $83,000
  • Parks Construction Supervisor:
    $63,000 - $86,000
  • Environmental/ Agricultural and Drainage Inspector:
    $79,000 - $109,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for natural resource system occupations is about $60,500.

natural resources systems career pathways

Pathway Description

Maintain and manage natural environment; work in urban and rural settings, in the field and in the lab. Protecting wildlife, maintaining parks.

Agribusiness Systems

Fields

  • Agricultural Science
  • Law / Regulation / Compliance
  • Agribusiness Management
  • Agricultural Education
  • Sales / Marketing
  • Accounting / Finance / Insurance

Jobs

  • Product Demonstrator:
    $29,000 - $37,000
  • Application Support Specialist:
    $49,000 - $68,000
  • Agronomy Location Manager:
    $61,000 - $94,000
  • Service Coordinator / Customer Service Manager:
    $51,000 - $68,000
  • Safety & Industrial Hygiene Representative:
    $69,000 - $106,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for agribusiness occupations is about $77,000.

agricultural systems career pathways

Pathway Description

Coordinate activities that contribute to the production, processing and distribution of agricultural commodities and resources, promote agricultural products, and help finance agricultural businesses.

Animal Systems

Fields

  • Medicine
  • Equine Science
  • Animal Science
  • Biology
  • Aquaculture
  • Dairy, Lamb, Wool, Swine Management

Jobs

  • Animal Caretaker:
    $32,000 - $36,000
  • Veterinary Technician:
    $40,000 - $53,000
  • Animal Breeding Technician:
    $40,000 - $50,000
  • Dog Trainer:
    $28,000 - $38,000
  • Habitat Coordinator:
    $45,000 - $55,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for animal system occupations is about $48,500.

animal systems career pathways

Pathway Description

Working with and caring for animals of all sizes; opportunities to work directly with animals or to work with products from animals.

Plant Systems

Fields

  • Agronomy
  • Plant Science / Genetics
  • Commodity Marketing
  • Grounds Management
  • Horticulture / Green House Management
  • Landscape Design / Construction / Technology

Jobs

  • Agriculture Field Service Technician:
    $43,000 - $51,000
  • Pilot Plant Technologist:
    $86,000 - $126,000
  • Arborist / Tree Worker:
    $53,000 - $60,000
  • Grain Plant Operator:
    $42,000 - $59,000
  • Agriculture Equipment Operator:
    $40,000 - $54,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for plant system occupations is about $48,000.

plant systems career pathways

Pathway Description

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

Fields

  • Culinary Arts / Food Science
  • Data Management
  • Accounting / Finance
  • Food Processing Safety
  • Food Service Management
  • Quality Control / Quality Assurance

Jobs

  • Grain Production Supervisor:
    $49,000 - $74,000
  • Lab Technician / Snacks Technician:
    $38,000 - $49,000
  • Raw Product Assistant:
    $46,000 - $68,000
  • Quality Assurance Specialist:
    $44,000 - $65,000
  • Poultry Plant / Grain Operations Manager:
    $48,000 - $72,000

Pay

The median advertised salary in Minnesota for food system occupations is about $47,500.

food products processing systems career pathways

Pathway Description

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 2022


icon growing opportunities Growing Opportunities

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.

Agricultural Education

Top 3 Majors for two year programs

  • Horticulture
  • 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)


icon career pathways 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


icon campus locations Campus Locations

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.


icon contact us Contact Us

Nathan Hanel

Call: 507-389-7435
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Shyanne Rodning

Call: 507-389-7301
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Megan Roberts

Call: 507-389-7290
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Print   Email