BS in Agricultural Engineering in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering (BSAE) is a five year degree program that provides students with knowledge and skills on how to design agricultural machinery, agricultural equipment and agricultural structures, how to develop ways to conserve soil and water, how to improve the processing of agricultural products and how to work in research and development, production, sales and management in the agricultural sector.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BSAE curriculum are divided into the following categories:
  • General Education courses: Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects
  • Fundamental Agricultural courses: Introduction to Animal Science, Principles of Crop Science, Principle of Fishery Science, Principles of Soil Science, Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Management
  • Basic Engineering courses: Engineering Graphics, Principles of Electricity and Electronics, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanics of Deformable Bodies, Farm Shop Practice, Fluid Mechanics, Engineering Economy, Computer Applications in Engineering, Surveying, Materials of Engineering, Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer, Computer Applications in Engineering, Introduction to Operations Research, Agricultural Engineering Law and Professional Ethics
  • Professional courses:
    • Agricultural Power and Machinery: Agricultural Power and Energy Sources, Agricultural Mechanization and Machinery Management, Agricultural Machinery Design, Tractor and Agricultural Equipment Operation
    • Agricultural Structures and Environment: Agricultural Waste Management, Agricultural Structures Engineering, Design and Management of Agricultural Buildings and Structures, Forest Products Engineering
    • Soil and Water Resources: Hydrology, Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Aquaculture Engineering
    • Other professional coursesAgricultural Processing, and Electrification: Agricultural Electrification, Processing, Handling and Storage of Agricultural Products-1, Processing, Handling and Storage of Agricultural Products-2, Refrigeration Engineering
  • Undergraduate Seminar
  • Thesis or Field Practice
The BSAE program is taught to students in a variety of teaching methods - classroom lectures, hands-on practical exercises, seminars and visits to government agencies and private institutions involved in agriculture, farms and Agribusinesses.

The revised BSAE curriculum has two options, the thesis and non-thesis option. A student inclined to research may choose to do a thesis, while those who do not like research may go into field practice (non-thesis option). In the field practice option, the student is required to enroll in 6 more units or two elective non-major subjects.

Comparing BS in Agricultural Engineering, BS in Agriculture and Bachelor of Agricultural Technology

BS in Agricultural Engineering is a five year program that concentrates on the technical aspect of Agriculture. Its curriculum revolves around the application of engineering principles in the production, processing, handling and storage of food, fiber and materials. It also covers areas such as irrigation and drainage of agricultural land, soil erosion control, the planning of agricultural buildings and structures, post-harvest technology and agricultural waste management. It has a board examination. Students have the option whether to complete and On the Job Training (OJT) or prepare an undergraduate thesis paper

BS in Agriculture is a four year program that is mainly focused on topics such as animal science, soil cultivation, crop production, livestock raising and the preparation and marketing of Agri-products. It has a board examination. Students are required to undergo an On the Job Training (OJT).

Bachelor of Agricultural Technology is a four year program that deals with the manual labor aspect of Agriculture, its emphasis is on the application of agricultural techniques in the production and processing of food and agricultural products. There is not board examination. Students are requires to undergo an On the Job Training (OJT).

As for admission requirements, all three programs have more or less the same basic requirements.

Is Agricultural Engineering a profession?

Agricultural Engineering is a profession. A graduate of BSAE who passes the Agricultural Engineer Licensure Examination is called a Licensed Agricultural Engineer.

The responsibilities of an Agricultural Engineer include:
  • Work in the agricultural industry to design structures, equipment, and processes
  • Work in areas such as power systems and machinery design, structural and environmental engineering, and food and bioprocess engineering
  • Develop ways to conserve soil and water
  • Improve the processing and storage of agricultural products
  • Test products thoroughly for safety issues and defects
  • Ensure designed systems function reliably and for a long time
  • Design products to increase the production of farm products
  • Design farmhouses, barns, and other shelters
  • Create power machines used for tilling, fertilization, and harvesting
  • Develop pesticide control products and machinery
  • Design an electric power system
  • Develop ways to use power for curing and drying crops
  • Design irrigation, drainage, and flood control systems

What are the admission requirements for the BSAE program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but generally the requirements are the basic college admission requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers
  • College entrance exam: some colleges conduct an entrance exam. You need to pass the college entrance exam with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college.
(See sources 1, 2)

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Good Mathematical skills – math is the fundamental tool of almost all engineering courses; majority of subjects use both basic and complicated forms of mathematical equation therefore it’s very important to have strong foundation in mathematics.
  • Scientific Inclination – science and math go hand in hand in Agricultural Engineering, your knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment will play a major role to survive this course
  • Excellent Mechanical Inclination – the craft of farming really is about solving problems using your hands in combination with equipment. Even the simplest of hand plantings need a basic level of mechanical inclination; to keep your row straight, to space rows, to get a seed furrow, etc.
  • Technical skills – the knowledge and ability required to achieve specific tasks as well as other duties such as mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related tasks.
  • Critical Thinking – the use of logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Analytical skills – the ability to determine how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes
  • Love for the outdoors – much of the work of an agricultural engineer is done outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  • Tolerance for manual labor – in the course of the study, you will be asked to perform manual labor and be exposed in farms where you have to do manual labor. A person who is not inclined to performing tiresome and dirty work cannot survive this course.
  • Computer Proficiency – a wide knowledge on computer applications is critical to succeed in this course because much of the actual work is done with the use computers to produce and analyze designs.
  • Planning skills – the ability to organize and prioritize activities/tasks effectively; must be able to think of ways on how to do a job efficiently

How difficult is BS in Agricultural Engineering?

BS in Agricultural Engineering is a difficult course. Aside from the General Education subjects, most subjects involve the use of math and technical skills. Students who are not good in math will find it hard to deal with the BSAE program.

The workload for this course is quite heavy; aside from the long hours of classroom lectures, students are also simultaneously exposed to laboratory activities and practicum exercises in agri-business companies and agencies.

Some students believe that when they take up BSAE they will not be exposed to manual labor and field work like Agriculture students, however, Agricultural Engineering students are exposed to these kinds of activities as well. One positive aspect of this program is the fact that students have the option to choose which requirement for graduation they want to take: whether to complete an undergraduate thesis paper or to finish the specific number of hours for Field Practice.

How long does it take to complete the BSAE program in the Philippines?

The BS in Agricultural Engineering program takes five years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Thesis

Students who are research inclined may choose the thesis option while those who are not may choose the Field Practice/Non-thesis option.

If a student chooses the thesis option he/she will select a topic of interest related to current trends/issues on Agriculture which will be approved by the Research Adviser. Upon completion, the student will defend his/her work in front of a panel where he/she will be graded on a certain criteria.

Field Practice

A student of the BSAE program who chooses Field Practice will be assigned in a farm, plant or laboratory, agri-business companies or other establishments which will provide practical experience. The Field Practice is done under the supervision of a Licensed Agricultural Engineer in the establishment which will evaluate the student periodically and submit the evaluation form to the assigned faculty member. The number of hours required for the Field Practice varies from one school to another.(See source)

Areas of Concentration

  • Soil and Water Resources – an area of Agricultural Engineering that concentrates on the design of systems to control soil erosion and flooding, development of irrigation systems and, consultation of crop nutrition management and the design of ways to handle storm water and control sediment
  • Agricultural Power and Machinery – concentrates on teaching students the application of mechanical, physical, biological and electronic principles to the solution of real-life problems or issues in crop/fruit/vegetable production and processing.
  • Agricultural Processing, Storage and Electrification – teaches students the essentials of handling, processing, drying and storage of agricultural products, and non-conventional energy and technologies; rural electrification, and farm buildings.
  • Agricultural Structures and Environmental Science and Protection – includes the planning, design and management of land and environment, food science and technologies and the conservation of land, environment, and landscape.
(See source)

Agricultural Engineer Licensure Examination

To become a Licensed Agricultural Engineer in the Philippines, a graduate of BS in Agricultural Engineering needs to pass the Agricultural Engineer Licensure Examination. The examination is conducted by the Board of Agricultural Engineering under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). The exam is conducted once a year.

In order to pass the examination, a candidate must obtain a weighted average of at least 70% with no rating below 55% in any subject. (See source)

You can view the passing rates of the Agricultural Engineer Licensure Examination here.

Career opportunities for BS in Agricultural Engineering graduates

  • Jobs for licensed Agricultural Engineers (board exam passers)

    • Entry Level jobs

      Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:

      • Agricultural Engineer in the Department of Agrarian Reform, other government and private institutions .– performs and supervises engineering work related to the use and development of agricultural land, buildings, machines and equipment.
      • Researcher in government and private agricultural agencies
      • Farm supervisors and/or managers of commercial farms – work in either animal production, dairy or crop production although some do work with all three. Livestock on farms tends to be pigs, cows or sheep while crops can cover cereals, oilseed rape, vegetables and salad.
      • Agricultural Inspector – ensure that agricultural entities comply with government regulations. These workers may review and audit logging, fishing or farming operations to ensure that all procedures, goods and equipment comply with safety and health regulations.
      • Agricultural Machinery Dealer – sell the equipment used for growing food and raising animals on farms and ranches. Products include tractors, reapers and related equipment.
      • Sales Engineer – combine technical knowledge with sales skills to provide advice and support on a range of agricultural products.
    • Mid-Level Positions


      Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years:
      • Faculty member of agricultural institutions – teaches agricultural engineering in a university or college; may require a master’s degree
      • Agricultural Manager – responsible for the daily planning, organization, supervision and administration of activities on farm estates
      • Designer/Manufacturer of Agricultural Machinery – designs, constructs and manufactures important agricultural equipment and machinery
      • Irrigation or Drainage Engineer – plans, designs, and oversees construction of irrigation projects for transporting and distributing water to agricultural lands; plans and designs irrigation fixtures and installation of fixtures to requirements and specifications.
      • Water Resource Engineer – help plan for water use and treatment. They usually spend most of their days planning and mapping for a specific location's water needs, and may need to occasionally travel to more accurately assess the local water resource situation.
    • Advanced Positions


      Require years of extensive experience and practice:
      • Agricultural consultant – specialist advisers who provide technical, commercial and financial advice and information to farming, agricultural and public sector staff
      • Farm owner/Agricultural Business Entrepreneur
      • Agricultural Crop Specialist – apply geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), to agricultural production or management activities, such as pest scouting, site-specific pesticide application, yield mapping, or variable-rate irrigation. May use computers to develop or analyze maps or remote sensing images to compare physical topography with data on soils, fertilizer, pests, or weather.
      • Erosion Specialists – plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.
  • Jobs for Non Board Passers:

    • Agri-business technician – work in a support role to scientists or managers conducting experiments and performing research; much of this work is done within agriculture or food science.
    • Agricultural Mechanic – professional farming technicians that deal with the maintenance and repair of cultivation machines. In addition, mechanics may test machine systems and troubleshoot problems if errors occur.
    • Pesticide Technician – responsible for identifying, selecting, mixing, and applying chemical or manual solutions to get rid of pests; identifies pest problem and appropriate solution, applies chemical or trap, and removes dead rodents.
    • Sales representative and/or extension agents of agricultural and chemical companies.

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Reviews of BS in Agricultural Engineering graduates:

M. J.
◈ Studied BS in Agricultural Engineering
◈ At Romblon State University
◈ Graduated 2012

list bulletAbout my college education: It’s difficult but interesting course.

list bulletMy current job: unemployed

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: may be

list bulletDo I recommend studying Agricultural Engineering: Yes! i do recommend because this course is unique and really needed today.
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