Seattle Public Schools

Programs and Career Pathways

Agriculture Pathway

Is this the right pathway for me?

  • Do you enjoy being outdoors?
  • Are you passionate about sustaining the environment?
  • Do you like science, working with plants and working with your hands?

What is the Agriculture Pathway?

The Agriculture Career and Technical Education pathway provides students with a hands-on exploration of agriculture, covering crop cultivation and sustainable farming practices and environmental research. Through practical experiences and lessons in soil health, solving complex environmental problems, and agri-business management, students gain valuable insights into what it means to work in agriculture. Emphasizing technological advancements, this pathway prepares students for careers in farming, agronomy, forestry, and much more!

What sort of work would I do?

People in agriculture and environmental science have important jobs. Farmers grow crops and take care of animals. Scientists study ways to make farming and environments better and more sustainable. Foresters look after forests, making sure they stay healthy. Engineers create technology to help farms work better and create environmentally friendly practices. There are also people who handle the business side of farming as well as research jobs that identify and eliminate things that impact our environments. These jobs ensure that we have enough food and resources to take care of our environment.

Leads to these Careers

  • Compliance officers 
  • Environmental Scientists 
  • Natural Sciences Managers 
  • Soil and Plant Scientists 
  • Arborists 
  • Agricultural and Environmental Engineers 
  • Wildlife Biologists 
  • Horticulturists 
  • Conservation Scientists 
  • Agronomists 

In-Demand Occupations

Typical Education Required Career Title Average Annual Salary Job Outlook in WA State (2020-2030) 
High School Landscaper $36,160 3% increase (national)
Bachelor’s Degree Environmental Scientists $105,321 20% increase 
Master’s Degree Agricultural Research Engineer $83,260 6% increase (national)
Check Career One Stop, Bureau of Labor Statistics for updated career trends

What Courses can I take now?

Check with your school counselor and administrators to find out which classes are available at your school.

This course sequence involves the study of a wide variety of sciences, including geology, biology, environmental studies, chemistry, meteorology, and geography as well as the study of natural systems, to identify and analyze environmental problems and evaluate risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.

Course numbers: HCT7157 & HCT7158; CSC7157 & CSC7158

Credentials: AP Exam offered 

This course introduces the student to the field of Environmental Horticulture. Students learn about horticultural equipment use and safety, greenhouse design and use, and plant identification. Soil-water-plant relations are studied, and floral design is introduced. By producing crops, students learn proper plant care, plant propagation, general greenhouse operations and materials. When the crops are ready for sale, students will take part in a supervised agriculture experience where they will learn the practice of entrepreneurship learning marketing, sales techniques, and product displays.  

Course numbers: HCT8026 & HSCT8027; CSC8026 & CSC8027 

Credentials: Dual Credit through South Seattle College 

This course is a study of physical and geological oceanography and how they interact with one another. Topics covered include the chemistry of ocean water, the physics of wave patterns and tides, seafloor geology and topography, and marine biology.  

Course numbers: HCT6065 & HCT6066; CSC6065 & CSC6066 

This course involves the study of the scientific principles that underlie the breeding, cultivation, production processing, and distribution of agricultural and plant products. Students will take part in a supervised agriculture experience where they will learn the practices of entrepreneurship learning marketing, sales techniques, and product displays.  

Course numbers: HCT 5966 & HCT5967; CSC5966 & CSC5967 

Clubs and Activities at SPS

Interested in learning more about careers in agriculture? SPS students have the opportunity to deepen and expand their knowledge alongside their peers through participating in clubs led by knowledgeable CTE teachers. These clubs help students prepare for career and college. Find agriculture clubs at your school here

What training do I need after high school?

The type of training you need for a career in agriculture varies greatly by the specific career you decide to pursue. Below are examples of the level of education that is typically required for a sampling of agriculture careers along with links to examples of local and national programs. Students can explore college and post-secondary training opportunities on Naviance.

Landscape Horticulture – Start with Landscape Horticulture Associate’s Degree at South Seattle College

The Landscape Horticulture Program at South Seattle College currently offers a one-year certificate or an Associate of Applied Sciences in Horticulture. The program offers students an opportunity to achieve a strong foundation of horticulture knowledge in the first year and learning through hands on projects in the second year. This program provides unique access to the South Seattle College Arboretum (a 6-acre outdoor classroom and laboratory) and the Retail Garden Center.

Environmental Scientists – Recommended to pursue Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science, Biology, or related fields, a local example would be a Bachelor’s Degree in Bioresource Science and Engineering, Environmental Science, or Terrestrial Resources management at University of Washington. These roles focus on environmental impact and conservation efforts.

Arborists – Recommended to pursue Certificate or AA

Students can explore certifications in arboriculture, experience in tree care through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Activities associated with these careers may include tree health, pruning, and disease management. South Seattle College offers degrees and certifications in Agriculture/Landscape that students can fund using the Seattle Promise Scholarship.

Agricultural and Environmental Engineers  – Recommended to pursue Bachelor’s Degree

Students interested in agriculture and environmental engineering will need to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in their chosen field. Currently Stanford University has the top-rated environmental and civil engineering program in the country. Regionally well respected environmental engineering programs can be found at Oregon State University, University of Washington, and more.

Explore the right fit post-secondary pathway for you using the SuperMatch college feature on Naviance

Do you have more questions about this pathway? Contact Pathway Specialist Susan Grant at