In the Philippines, an agronomist’s entry level salary ranges from P18,000 - P25,000 per month and may even go up to P30,000 per month for those highly-trained and experienced. Overseas such as in the U.S. & Canada, the annual average salary for an agronomist is $51,200 or $4,267 per month.
Basic Educational Requirement
Agronomists have at least a master’s degree in agriculture, forestry, biology, environmental or earth sciences, with a specialization in soil science. Many enter the field as technicians or assistants with only a bachelor’s degree in these areas, but advancement usually comes with a master’s or doctoral degree.
Cost of Education *
A master’s course for agronomists ranges approximately from P19,000 to P27,000 per semester in private technical schools and about P10,000 to P15,000 in public institutions.
Agronomists can work outside on fields and pastures, as well as inside on research labs and boardrooms, giving seminars and information sessions. They may also work for government departments, or private entities, farming and breeding associations, universities and colleges; as well as advisors to individual ranchers and farmers.
Agronomists may be employed in the following industries: Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry; Public Adminstration and Defense, Compulsory Social Security; and Education.
Prospects for Career Advancement
Agronomists can specialize in many different areas, so there should always be opportunities for advancement and exploration of other areas of agricultural study. They can work for research companies, or start up a private business of their own, in agricultural counseling, or otherwise. They can write books and articles about agriculture, become environmental advocates, or start up their own organic farms.
Nature of Work
Agronomists study the chemical composition of soil, water and plant life, and look for ways to improve and increase the world’s food supply, with healthy results. The field is exciting because there are so many differing views. Some Agronomists advocate genetic enhancement and chemical modification, while others are interested in natural food production. Both sides have their merits, and the scientists must learn to work together to create a sound and sustainable solution to the problems of soil destruction as well as world hunger.
- Investigates soils (origins, composition, and toxicity);
- Studies soil fertility and plant nutrient levels;
- Identifies degraded soils and develop plans to improve them;
- Develops improved soil management practices for farmers and forestry companies;
- Develops waste management programs for composting and farming; and
- Devises and develops new fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
Skills and Competencies
- Must have an interest in the science of both soil and plants;
- Should be environmentally concerned person;
- Should have strong organizational skills;
- Good communication and listening skills;
- Must be able to work alone as well as part of a team; and
- Should be analytical and creative when it comes to problem solving.
Physical Attributes and Characteristics
- Physically fit;
- Patient and curious;
- Dedicated to work;
- Service oriented; and
- Good interpersonal relations.
* Based on tuition fee rates for school year 2010-2011.