A puppy being fed medicine through a syringe by a vetIf you've never worked or you're looking for a job in a new field, the 16 National Career Clusters may be a great place to start looking. In this blog we share the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources career cluster.


Jobs in Agriculture: More Than Farming

Mar 16, 2023

A puppy being fed medicine through a syringe by a vetIt's hard to know how to start looking for a job, especially if you don't know what you want to do. If you've never worked or if you're looking for a job in a new field, it might be helpful to take a look at the 16 National Career Clusters as identified by the National Association of Career Technical Education Consortium.

Today, we're sharing one particular career cluster: Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Much of the information in today's blog post is courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Careers in the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster mainly focus on working with plants, animals and the environment. They include occupations like farming, veterinary medicine, forestry, conservation work, and refuse and recyclable material collection.

What is a career cluster?

Career clusters are groupings of jobs that tend to require the same skill set. In addition to Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, other clusters include finance, manufacturing and marketing, among others.

What type of education do you need to work in the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources career cluster?

This really depends. Many jobs in this cluster require a high school diploma or equivalent, but as in any industry, some require more. Forestry and conservation workers tend to need a high school diploma or equivalent, and receive on-the-job training, whereas a veterinarian requires a doctoral degree. There are many jobs in between the two that might interest you. Not quite sure you want to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine? Maybe becoming a veterinary assistant is right for you. This job requires a high school diploma or the equivalent and had a median salary of $29,780 in 2021. [1]

Let's keep going and explore more about becoming a veterinary assistant.

What do Veterinary Assistants Do?

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers handle routine animal care and help scientists, veterinarians, and others with their daily tasks. [2] This means you might be the one to calm down an anxious puppy while the veterinarian focuses on the exam. Or you may get a treat ready for a grumpy old cat who needs some shots. You could also clean kennels, get exam rooms ready and perform other duties that help the veterinarian and veterinary technicians perform their jobs.

How can I work in this field with my disability?

If you're unsure whether you'll be able to handle a position as a veterinary assistant in the Agricultural, Food and Natural Industry career cluster, think about some reasonable accommodations. As a veterinary assistant, one of your duties may be to input the veterinarian's notes into a computer. If you have low vision, you may need a larger monitor to enlarge fonts. Job accommodations don't have to be complicated or costly.

For information about working with a disability in this career cluster, visit Agrability. The mission of this program is to enhance the quality of life for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers with disabilities. You can also check out the Job Accommodation Network and search for reasonable accommodations based on your type of disability.

How Can Social Security's Ticket to Work Program Help?

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) and want to work.

Through this free and voluntary program, eligible participants can work with authorized Ticket to Work service providers to receive the supports and services they need to find and maintain employment as they move toward financial independence through work. Use the Ticket to Work Guided Search to find a service provider that can show you how the Ticket Program can help you on your career path, including careers in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and even connect you with local resources to get you started in this field.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit choosework.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask for a list of service providers or find providers on your own using the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

You can also learn more by registering for a free, online Work Incentives Seminar Event webinar. Or, text TICKET to 1-571-489-5292 to receive Ticket Program texts. Standard messaging rates may apply, and you can opt out at any time.

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