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Top 10 Agricultural Engineer Certifications

This article explores the top certifications for agricultural engineers, providing an overview of each certification's requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are an important way for agricultural engineers to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field. They provide employers with a measure of assurance that an engineer has the necessary skills and qualifications to do the job. Certifications also give agricultural engineers a competitive edge when seeking employment, as they show potential employers that they have the specialized knowledge and experience needed to perform complex tasks. Additionally, certifications can help agricultural engineers stay current on new technologies and techniques, giving them an advantage over non-certified applicants. Finally, certifications may be required for certain positions or projects, which makes them essential for those looking to advance in their careers.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Agricultural Engineers and explain how they can help an agricultural engineer advance their career.

What are Agricultural Engineer Certifications?

Agricultural engineering certification is a voluntary certification program offered by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The ASABE certification program was created to recognize the professional achievement of agricultural engineers in the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of agricultural systems. It is designed to assess an individual’s knowledge and experience in a variety of fields related to agricultural engineering.

The certification process involves taking an exam that covers topics such as soil science, crop science, irrigation and drainage, farm machinery and equipment design, waste management, energy systems, and food safety. After passing this exam, individuals must complete additional requirements such as continuing education courses or professional development activities before being granted full certification status.

The benefits of becoming certified include increased job opportunities due to having a recognized credential that demonstrates expertise in the field; improved job security due to having a recognized credential that employers trust; access to specialized training and resources; recognition from peers; and higher salaries due to having a respected credential that makes you more attractive to employers. Additionally, being certified can open doors for career advancement opportunities such as promotions or transfers within your current organization or at other organizations. Finally, having the credentials demonstrates commitment to professional development in the agricultural engineering field which can help build credibility with potential clients or customers.

Pro Tip: When obtaining certification as an agricultural engineer, be sure to review the specific requirements for your state. Different states may have different regulations and requirements that must be met in order to obtain certification. Additionally, always be prepared to provide proof of education and experience in the field when applying for certification.

Related: What does an Agricultural Engineer do?

Top 10 Agricultural Engineer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Agricultural Engineers today.

1. Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg)

A Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg) is a professional designation granted by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) to individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of agronomy. The CPAg certification is designed to recognize those individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in their field and are committed to continuing their education and professional development.

It typically takes two to three years to become certified as a CPAg, depending on the individual’s background and experience. To become certified, applicants must pass an exam administered by the ASA that covers topics such as soil science, plant science, crop production, pest management, nutrient management, and environmental stewardship. Additionally, applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in agronomy or related fields.

To get certified as a CPAg, you will need to submit an application along with all necessary documentation and fees. The application fee for the CPAg exam is $400 USD. After submitting your application materials and fees you will be notified when you can take the exam. Once you pass the exam you will receive your official certification from the ASA.

The cost of becoming certified as a CPAg includes both the application fee and any additional costs associated with studying for the exam such as books or online courses. Additionally, if you decide to pursue additional educational opportunities after becoming certified there may be additional costs associated with those programs as well.

2. Certified Crop Adviser (CCA)

Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) is a professional certification program that recognizes agricultural professionals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge and expertise in crop production. The CCA program is administered by the American Society of Agronomy, Certified Crop Adviser Board, and the Professional Nutrient Management Association.

The CCA program requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics related to soil science, crop management, nutrient management, pest management, water quality management and other areas related to crop production. Applicants must also meet certain educational requirements in order to be eligible for the certification.

It typically takes about four months from the time an applicant applies until they receive their certification. During this time applicants will need to complete the application process, take the exam and wait for their results.

To get certified as a CCA, applicants must first submit an application form along with all required documents such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. After submitting the application form, applicants must register for and take the three-hour long exam which consists of 150 multiple choice questions. Once they have passed the exam they will receive their certification within four months.

The cost of becoming a Certified Crop Adviser varies depending on where you live but typically ranges from $250-$500 USD including fees for registration and exam administration.

3. Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS)

Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) is a professional certification program administered by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). This certification program recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in soil science and related disciplines.

To obtain the CPSS certification, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an examination, and complete continuing education requirements. Applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in soil science or related field from an accredited college or university; three years of professional experience in soil science; and demonstrate knowledge in areas such as soil genesis, classification, fertility, hydrology, erosion control, and environmental protection.

The exam is offered twice per year at various locations throughout the United States. The cost to take the exam is $400 for SSSA members and $500 for non-members. The exam typically takes four hours to complete.

Once certified, individuals must renew their certification every five years by completing continuing education activities such as attending conferences or workshops or taking courses related to soil science. The renewal fee is $100 for SSSA members and $125 for non-members.

4. Certified Professional in Agribusiness Management (CPAM)

Certified Professional in Agribusiness Management (CPAM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals who work in the agribusiness industry. The CPAM certification is administered by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and is recognized internationally.

The CPAM certification requires completion of an approved course of study, passing a comprehensive exam, and at least two years of professional experience in agribusiness management. The course of study includes topics such as agricultural economics, marketing, finance, production management, risk management, and business strategy. In order to maintain the certification, individuals must complete continuing education credits every three years.

The cost for taking the CPAM exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 to take the exam. Additionally, there may be other fees associated with taking the exam such as registration fees or administrative fees.

To get certified as a CPAM professional you must first complete an approved course of study that meets the requirements set forth by ASA. Once you have completed your coursework you must then pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics related to agribusiness management. After passing the exam you will receive your official certification from ASA which will be valid for three years before needing to renew your certification through continuing education credits.

5. Certified Agricultural Engineer (CAE)

A Certified Agricultural Engineer (CAE) is a professional certification that recognizes an individual’s expertise in the field of agricultural engineering. This certification is awarded by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). To become a CAE, an individual must demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the areas of soil and water conservation, irrigation, drainage, land reclamation, farm structures, energy systems, machinery systems, environmental management, and other related topics.

To become a CAE requires passing an exam administered by ASABE. The exam consists of two parts: a written examination and a practical application examination. The written portion covers topics such as soil mechanics, hydrology, hydraulics, engineering principles and practices related to agricultural engineering. The practical application portion involves solving problems related to agricultural engineering projects.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you take it; however, it typically ranges from $400-$600 USD. It takes approximately 6-8 weeks to get your results back after taking the exam.

6. Certified Irrigation Designer (CID)

Certified Irrigation Designer (CID) is a professional certification program offered by the Irrigation Association. It is designed to recognize those individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in the design, installation, and maintenance of irrigation systems. The CID certification is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of irrigation design and management through successful completion of an examination.

In order to become certified as a CID, applicants must meet certain qualifications, including having at least two years of experience in the field of irrigation design or related fields, such as landscape architecture or water resource engineering. Applicants must also complete an approved training course and pass an exam administered by the Irrigation Association. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as hydrology, hydraulics, soil science, plant science, system design principles, and installation techniques.

The process typically takes about six months from start to finish. Applicants must submit their application along with supporting documents such as transcripts and letters of reference. Once accepted into the program, applicants must complete the training course within one year and pass the exam within two years.

The cost for becoming certified varies depending on how long it takes you to complete all requirements for certification. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000-$2,000 USD for the entire process including application fees, training courses and exam fees.

7. Certified Animal Scientist (CAS)

Certified Animal Scientist (CAS) is a professional certification program offered by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS). The program was created to provide recognition for those individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge, experience, and expertise in the field of animal science.

It typically takes two years to complete the CAS program. To become certified, applicants must have a minimum of an undergraduate degree in animal science or a related field and complete at least four years of relevant work experience. Applicants must also pass an examination administered by ARPAS.

The cost of the CAS program varies depending on the applicant’s educational background and experience. Generally, it costs around $300 to apply for the certification and $400 for the exam fee.

Once certified, CAS holders are required to maintain their certification through continuing education credits every three years. This ensures that they stay up-to-date with current trends and best practices in animal science.

8. Certified Plant Pathologist (CPP)

Certified Plant Pathologist (CPP) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to diagnose and manage plant diseases. It is administered by the American Phytopathological Society (APS).

To become certified, applicants must meet certain qualifications, including having a master's degree in plant pathology or a closely related field; at least three years of relevant experience; and passing an examination administered by the APS. The exam covers topics such as plant pathology, diagnosis, management, and control of plant diseases.

The process of becoming certified typically takes six to nine months. During this time, applicants must complete all the required documentation and submit it to the APS for review. After their application has been approved, they will be required to take the CPP exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their certification.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on whether or not you are already an APS member. For non-members, the cost is $600 plus any applicable taxes; for members, it is $400 plus any applicable taxes.

9. Certified Livestock Manager (CLM)

Certified Livestock Manager (CLM) is a professional certification program for livestock producers and managers. It is designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals involved in the production and management of livestock operations. The CLM program was developed by the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) in collaboration with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

The CLM program requires applicants to successfully complete a series of exams that cover topics such as animal nutrition, animal health, reproduction, genetics, business management, marketing, and animal welfare. Upon successful completion of all required exams, applicants will receive their CLM designation.

It typically takes between six months to one year to complete all requirements for the CLM program. Applicants must first register with ASAS and pay an application fee. After registration is complete, applicants can begin studying for the required exams. Once all exams are passed and all other requirements are met, applicants will be awarded their CLM designation.

The cost for the CLM program varies depending on the number of exams taken and other factors such as study materials purchased or fees associated with taking the exam(s). Generally speaking, however, it costs approximately $500-$1000 USD to become certified as a Certified Livestock Manager.

10. Certified Farm Manager (CFM)

Certified Farm Manager (CFM) is a professional certification program offered by the American Society of Agronomy. It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate knowledge and experience in farm management. The CFM program requires that applicants have at least five years of farm management experience, as well as a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture or a related field.

It typically takes about two years to complete the requirements for the CFM program. During this time, applicants must pass an exam, complete an approved training course, and submit documentation of their work experience and education. After completing these requirements, applicants must submit an application to the American Society of Agronomy for review and approval.

The cost of obtaining the CFM certification varies depending on the applicant’s individual circumstances. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000-$2,000 to complete all of the necessary requirements for certification. This includes fees for taking the exam and completing any required training courses. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with travel and lodging if attending classes in-person is required.

Overall, obtaining a Certified Farm Manager (CFM) certification can be a great way to demonstrate expertise in farm management and add value to your career.

Do You Really Need a Agricultural Engineer Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including your career goals and the particular industry you are targeting. For those looking to pursue a career in agriculture, an Agricultural Engineer Certificate may be essential. This certification provides an overview of the principles and practices of engineering as they relate to agricultural production. It also offers specialized skills related to agricultural systems such as irrigation, soil science, crop management, and more.

For those looking for a career in engineering that has some application to agriculture, such as environmental engineering or structural engineering, an Agricultural Engineer Certificate may not be necessary. However, having this certification can be beneficial as it may provide additional knowledge and experience that can help you succeed in your chosen field. Additionally, having this certificate may give you an advantage when competing for jobs since employers will know that you have taken the time and effort to gain specialized training in the area of agricultural engineering.

Ultimately, whether or not you need an Agricultural Engineer Certificate depends on what type of position you are hoping to obtain and what industry you are targeting. If it is necessary for success in your field then obtaining the certificate should be strongly considered.

Related: Agricultural Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Agricultural Engineer Certifications

1. What certifications are available for agricultural engineers?

Answer: Professional certifications in agricultural engineering are offered by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). These include Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg), Certified Crop Adviser (CCA), and Certified Professional in Agribusiness Management (CPAM).

2. How do I become certified as an agricultural engineer?

Answer: To become certified as an agricultural engineer, you must meet the required educational qualifications, pass the certification exam, and fulfill any additional requirements set by the certifying organization. Depending on the certification, this may include completing a certain number of hours of training or coursework related to your field.

3. What is the cost of certification?

Answer: The cost of certification varies depending on the type of certification you pursue and which organization you choose to certify through. Generally, certification fees range from $100-$400 USD.

4. How long does it take to get certified?

Answer: The time it takes to get certified varies depending on the type of certification you pursue and which organization you choose to certify through. Generally, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year or more to complete all the requirements necessary for obtaining a professional certification in agricultural engineering.

5. Is recertification necessary?

Answer: Yes, recertification is generally required every 3-5 years in order to maintain your professional credentials as an agricultural engineer. Recertification typically involves completing continuing education courses or other activities relevant to your field in order to demonstrate that your knowledge is up-to-date with current industry standards.