Agricultural Designations And Certifications In Canada

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With great power comes great responsibility.

As a college or university graduate working in Canada’s agriculture industry, you’ll have the opportunity to impact the lives of millions of people across the country and around the world through their food, bio-fuels and health products, often by providing scientific, economic or technical advise or expertise to farmers, corporations and all levels of government.

Many of the professions in the agriculture industry are guided by a strict code of ethics regulated by a provincial or national body made up of other members of that profession. In some provinces, certain professions are even required to register with their governing body, such as Agrologists in Alberta.

Obtaining a designation tells employers and clients that you not only have the knowledge required to practice your chosen profession, but you’ve also proven that you know how to apply that knowledge in the field. Although you won’t be able to earn a designation before looking for your first entry level job, having or working toward a designation is sure to benefit your career in the long-term.

These are some of the agriculture-specific designations you may be interested in pursuing as well as a brief overview of the basic requirements to achieve each designation.

For a complete list of requirements, please visit the website of the provincial or national institute or association responsible for granting the designation.
 

Professional Agrologist

P.Ag., PAg or Ag.

Professional Agrologists provide scientific or economic expertise to Canada’s agriculture industry. Agrologists come from fields such as food, animal and environmental science, agriculture business and science, and genetic engineering.

According to the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, there are 4 Agrology sectors, Life Sciences, Environment, Agriculture and Food, with 42 practice areas.

The designation is granted by provincial institutes of agrologists to graduates registered with their respective institute after completing a related university degree, a minimum of 2 years of work experience, as well as an articling or training program, depending on the province. During this articling/training process, they are known as an Articling Agrologist (A.Ag.) or Agrologist in Training (AIT).

Articling Agrologist or Agrologist in Training

A.Ag. or AIT

This is what future Professional Agrologists are known as while they work toward the P.Ag. designation. Articling Agrologists and Agrologists in Training are typically required to complete a number of training modules or workshops, attend conferences and events, provide written evidence of their competency in their chosen practice areas, keep track of their professional development while they complete the required number of years of work experience, submit letters of reference and recommendation, and a number of other requirements.
 

Technical Agrologist or Registered Technologist in Agrology

T.Ag. or Tech.Ag., or RTAg

Technical Agrologists give professional advice about producing, using, processing and marketing agricultural products, crops and livestock. To achieve this designation, you must have an appropriate college diploma or applied degree, complete the required training or articling program, and have at least three years of agrology-related work experience after graduating. During this process, you are typically known as an Agrology Technologist in Training (ATT).
 

Agricultural Consultant or Agricultural Advisor designations

According to the Canadian Consulting Agrologists Association (CCAA), Agricultural Consultants or Agricultural Advisors offer independent, objective professional advice in matters relating to agriculture as an individual or on behalf of a company.

Certified Agricultural Consultant

CAC

You can achieve the CAC designation through a number of different requirements, such as by being an Agrologist or being certified by another professional body approved by the CCAA, or holding a graduate degree in an approved discipline and from an approved university.

Certified Agricultural Advisor

CAA

The CAA designation is open to anyone who does not meet the requirements for a CAC but who:

  • has a degree, diploma or designation, or at least 5 years of industry experience
  • has been a member of CCAA for 2 years
  • obtains 2 references from clients
  • completes the professional development requirements

 

Certified Crop Advisor

CCA

Crop Advisors have a good understanding of science, food safety, technology, economics and environment, and provide information and expertise on crop production, crop protection and natural resource management. According to the Canadian Certified Crop Advisor Association, to become a Certified Crop Advisor, you must:

  • have up to 4 years crop advising experience depending on educational background (a university degree and 2 years of experience or a college diploma and 3 years of experience)
  • document your education and crop advising experience with supporting references and transcripts
  • pass comprehensive national and provincial exams that evaluate 4 competency areas: soil fertility, integrated pest management, crop production, and soil and water management
  • sign and agree to uphold the CCA Code of Ethics

 

Engineering and Financial Services designations

If you’re planning to pursue a career in Engineering or Financial Services within the agriculture industry, you may be interested in one of the following designations:

 

Think an Agriculture career means being a farmer? Think again.
Visit our Agriculture Career Guide for eggs-clusive jobs and career resources to help you hatch your career in the Agriculture industry!

 

Photo credit: Experimental Farm by Xiaozhuli on Flickr
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