Explore a Pathway to your Agricultural Career in Hawaiʻi!

What types of careers are available for those with a two-year degree?
Career/Salary Description

Farmer/ Farm Manager

Salary: $24,000 - $40,000

Farmers gain experience over time to become experts in their trade. They must be hands on as workers, and become knowledgeable about the business and science behind their trade.

Greenhouse Worker/ Manager

Salary: $20,000 - $41,000

Greenhouse workers plant, cultivate and harvest agricultural goods. It is manual work, including tilling, planting, pruning, and applying fertilizers and pesticides. Greenhouse managers oversee staff to ensure the use of good practices. The job requires a background in horticulture, soil science, & pest control.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Specialist/ Manager          

Salary: $35,000

Agricultural specialists plant, harvest, weed, fertilize, and perform scientific studies on agricultural plants for the state. Some prior experience working in an agricultural facility may be required. Proper use of the experimental method and accurate data collection techniques are important. Managers oversee these studies and may also analyze and report the results.


Salary: $44,000

Horticulturists can follow two tracts, either working for growers, packers and distributors of agricultural goods or go into landscape design & landscape maintenance. While no formal training is required for some entry-level job, other employers may prefer you have a degree.

Plant Nursery Worker/ Manager

Salary: $19,000 - $33,000

Raise healthy plants to a marketable stage by providing care in the form of planting, watering, fertilizing, and pruning. Nursery workers and mangers must be familiar with aspects of plant nutrition and pest management. This includes cut flowers producers.

Sustainable Agriculture Instructor

Salary: $54,000

Provide students with relevant information about new and innovative agricultural practices in a classroom and laboratory setting. Sets course learning objectives, develops curriculum, and establishes assessment tools. Must be experience with practices and equipment used.

Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

Salary: $45,000

Use knowledge of agricultural sciences and ecology to develop sustainable practices related to farm profitability, stewardship of natural resources, and quality of life. 

Turf Grass Production Worker/ Manager

Salary: $23,000 - $44,000

Use knowledge of soil science, horticulture, pest control, and plant physiology to grow a quality product that is marketable to a range of clients. Members of the Sports Turf Management Association, care for major U.S. sporting fields.
The following jobs require a Bachelor of Science degree at a minimum. Most require a Master of Science or a PhD or doctorate degree.
Career/Salary Description


Salary: $48,000

Use knowledge of soil science, plant physiology, and genetics to conduct scientific research and to advise growers on good agricultural and economic practices. Agronomists have a background in biology, chemistry, mathematics and agriculture. Areas of interest include crop rotation, irrigation & drainage, plant breeding, soil classification & fertility, and weed & pest management.


Salary: $62,000

Use knowledge of biology, insect & plant physiology, ecology and mathematics to conduct scientific research and to develop sound programs for sustainable farming. Additional career tracks include forensic entomology, biosecurity, conservation, & public health entomology. Government agencies (CDC & US Military) and private (chemical) companies employ medical entomologists.


Salary: $61,000

Use knowledge of geology and atmospheric science to study the distribution and circulation of water on the planet. Hydrologists monitor groundwater supplies, find ways to decrease water pollution, and trace movements of water from Earth’s surface & around the atmosphere.

IPM Specialist 

Salary: $51,000

Specialize in methods to suppress pest damage in agro-ecosystems using a multitactic approach that takes into consideration specific insect physiology, cultural control techniques, with a reduced dependence on pesticides.

Molecular Biologist  

Salary: $77,000

Use knowledge of biology, genetics, and chemistry to study cellular processes and how molecules like DNA function. Molecular biologists spend their time conducting research experiments in laboratories and working in collaborations. Areas of interest include medical research & questions pertinent to life sciences.

Plant Breeder

Salary: $45,000-80,000

This historical practice evolves as new methods and technologies are developed. Plant breeders use knowledge of biology, genetics, and horticulture to produce plant varieties with desirable traits. Molecular techniques such as genetic modification are available to plant breeders leading to career tracks in food science.

Plant Geneticist

Salary: $64,000

Use knowledge of botany, microbiology, and genetics to research the evolution and diversity of plants on Earth and ways to improve their production in agricultural businesses. Plant geneticists take samples form the field and work in nurseries and laboratories.

Plant Pathologist   

Salary: $58,000

Treat plant diseases by identifying the symptoms, modes of transmission, and methods to reduce the diseases impacts and opportunities for re-occurrences. Government agencies, universities, and agricultural businesses employ plant pathologists.

Plant Physiologist   

Salary: $67,000

Use knowledge of biology, physics, and chemistry to study how plants function at the cell and molecular level. A plant physiologist works to better understand specific plants types (like crops, ornamentals, or plants with medical or conservation value), in particular, how to keep them alive, healthy, and reproductive.   

Plant Science Instructor   

Salary: $59,000

Prepare curriculum related to the reproduction, growth, anatomy, physiology, evolution, and classification of plants. This includes instruction in botany, horticulture, botanical medicine, biogeography, and conservation.

Soil Conservationist  

Salary: $63,000

Use knowledge of environmental and soil sciences like nutrient management, hydrology, and bioremediation to help farmers and land managers with soil related conservation issues such as maintaining soil fertility, preventing erosion, and restoration.

Soil Scientist     

Salary: $57,000

Use knowledge of biology, chemistry, and geology to study the physical properties and chemical makeup of soils. Soils scientist spend their time outdoors and in research laboratories. Career paths include natural resource management, soil conservation, soil mapping, and land use planning. 

Tissue Culture Lab Technician/ Manager    

Salary: $51,000 - $87,000

Use knowledge of biology, chemistry and medicine to manipulate cell growth in a laboratory. Work focuses on innovative research & medical treatments for patients. Lab managers need to be proficient in the life sciences and how they relate to medicine as well as engineering.

Upcoming Events!

There are exciting agriculture-related events happening statewide. This is where you can find out what's happening. If you would like to contribute your organization's event to our calendar, please contact us.


Kāko’o ‘Ōiwi - Lo‘i Community Work Day

He'eia Wetland (Hoi) - Second Saturdays 8:30 am to noon. Put on your shoes or tabis and be prepared to get muddy! A water cooler will be provided, but bring your own water bottle or cup. A light lunch will be provided at the end of the day. Please RSVP at info@kakoooiwi.org

Science in Action

Science in Action gives high school students from grades 9 to12 access to UH Mānoa faculty and research facilities. Through hands-on activities and field trips, explore science fields such as botany, microbiological oceanography and marine biology. Visit outreach.hawaii.edu or email ochelp@hawaii.edu.

Summer Scholar Program

If you’re in grades 10 to 11, you can join the Summer Scholar Program and earn college credits during six weeks in the summer. Visit outreach.hawaii.edu or email ochelp@hawaii.edu.

Growing Our Talent is sponsored by: