Agricultural Engineer



OFO No: 214905





Other names for Agricultural Engineer:

  • Agricultural Product Processing Enginee
  • Agricultural Structures and Facilities Engineer
  • Aqua Culture Engineer
  • Crop Production Mechanisation Engineer
  • Irrigation Engineer
  • Natural Resources Engineer
Youtube clip of a Agricultural Engineers 

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is an Agricultural Engineer?

Agricultural Engineering is concerned with the environment and our natural resources.  

Agricultural Engineers use their engineering and biological science knowledge to solve agricultural problems. They usually work with automated machinery, electrification structures, soil and water conservation and mechanical processing of agricultural products etc.

Agricultural Engineers study the interaction between man-made structures and the earth’s living, and life-sustaining resources, for example: soil, water, plants, animals. 

Agricultural Engineers may specialise in one of 4 areas:

  • Conservation of Natural Resources:  

To preserve our natural resources like water and soil, they design and plan structures and safe transport systems for flood water control 

  • Energy Sources and Mechanisation:  

They research and develop new, alternative energy sources and machinery.  They also test and improve existing machinery. 

  • Irrigation and Drainage: 

Designing new, more effective drainage and irrigations systems.  They may also play a leading role in the planning and design of large state water schemes (eg hydro-electric structures) 

  • Farm Structures:  

They design and supervise the construction of animal shelters and various buildings for example:  meat, milk and egg production, storing, drying, refrigeration and processing other agricultural products, to name but a few.

Agricultural Engineers should be problem-solvers with an eye for detail, a head for technology and a heart for design.

They should have good communication skills, and enjoy working with a team of colleagues and clients alike.

Being practical and adaptable will come in useful, as things often do not go according to plan.

What does an Agricultural Engineer do?

  • develops parameters for design, manufacture, or construction of equipment  and facilities
  • designs and directs the manufacture of equipment for land tillage and fertilization
  • designs and manages the machinery needed for  harvesting or moving commodities
  • supervises the erection of structures for crop storage, animal shelters, and human dwellings in an agricultural setting
  • plans and directs construction of irrigation (including dams), drainage and flood-control systems
  • makes sure systems are sensitive to  soil and water conservation
  • supervises installation of automated equipment and instruments used in farm processes
  • researches technical problems and develop new methods and techniques to solve problems

Are you … ?

  • interested in the farming sector?
  • mechanically and scientifically minded?
  • a problem solver?
  • observant?
  • a good communicator?
  • practical?
  • interested in industrial design?
  • good at  computing and design?
  • able to work without supervision and accept responsibility?
  • innovative?

How do I become an Agricultural Engineer?

Agricultural Engineers have a qualification.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering


  • Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering
  • 3 years work experience after registering as a Candidate Engineer
  • ECSA reviews your professional work
  • Apply for registration as a Professional Engineer
  • ONLY registered engineers can use the title Professional Engineer behind their name


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions.




OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Ecologist and Environmental Technologist

Is becoming an Agricultural Engineer the right career choice for me?