“People will always need food, so being an agriculturist is an excellent career option.”

This are the words of  encouragement of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, as she urged future workers to check  employment opportunities in evolving industries, such as agriculture and agri-business,  which needs more and more workers each day.

“A career as an agriculturist can lead in many directions. An agriculturist is not someone who is simply a farmer. Agriculture is  a technologically-sophisticated and ever expanding field. Agriculturists  have very good career prospects, since they ensure agricultural productivity.  They look for ways to improve the  quality and productivity of agricultural production,  and make farming more safe and effective,”  said Baldoz.

An agriculturist is a specialist in all areas of cultivation and raising livestock. He  is a scientist who advises farmers on soil management; breeding animals’ living conditions; crop protection; environmental sustainability; farm diseases; and harvesting.

“The careers related to the agricultural industry are endless,  especially with today’s strong focus on global warming,  food shortages in certain parts of the world, and concerns over how to best protect and enhance food production techniques,” she said.

Agriculturists  can specialize in various fields,  such as agronomy, biochemistry, zoology, physics, genetics, soil science, entomology, agricultural extension, agricultural meteorology, botany, dairy science, animal science, agricultural economy, agricultural engineering, pasture science, oenology, and wildlife management.

Agriculturists  are also concerned with crop science,  which  investigates field crop problems and develops new and improved growing methods to obtain higher yields,  or better quality. They may specialize in a specific crop, group of crops, production, weed and pest control,  or irrigation.

“The increased awareness of greening our environment  has in its wake brought numerous job opportunities in many fields in agriculture. Government offices, research institutions, agricultural colleges and universities, advisors to individual ranchers and farmers, and various agricultural service organizations hold immense job opportunities for agriculturists,”  said Baldoz, adding that agriculture is also a huge export industry  which can open more opportunities  for would-be entrepreneurs.

Citing the  Bureau of Local Employment’s (BLE) Career Guides which provide basic information on the occupations identified in the Project JobsFit,  Baldoz said the educational requirements for an agriculturist position usually require a bachelors degree,    but many agriculturists go on to achieve a masters degree emphasis in a special interest such as animal science,  plant science,  or agricultural economics.  A license from the Professional Regulation Commission is also required to practice in the industry.

The local entry-level  salary  for an agriculturist range  from P13,000 – P15,000 per month,  and may even go up to P22,000 per month for those highly-trained and experienced. Overseas, such as in the United States  and  Canada, the annual average salary for an agriculturist may range from $29,000 to $49,000 for those highly experienced.

“Agriculturists can specialize in many different areas, so there should always be opportunities for advancement and exploration of other areas of agricultural study. Aside from working  for research companies, or  agricultural counseling, they can also start up a private business of their own, or they can write books and articles about agriculture, become environmental advocates, or start up their own organic farms,”  added Baldoz.

She further said  that  educating students and  workers with current and relevant labor market information gives them the right signal towards careers with high employability.

The DOLE’s 101 Career Guides feature in-demand jobs/careers viable in the next five to ten years. It describes the basic education requirements of a job, skills and competencies, attributes and characteristics, salary/compensation, prospect for career advancement, employment opportunities, and cost of education or training. It seeks to aid and supplement students and jobseekers alike, with current information on particular jobs to make informed decisions about their chosen careers. To know more about other upcoming in-demand jobs, visit DOLE’s 101 Career Guide at www.ble.dole.gov.ph.

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