5 Ag Careers That Pay Bonuses

Salary is not everything. When considering career options you of course want to consider factors such as benefits, career advancement, company culture, etc.

Often the most mysterious part of compensation is what we call “incentives”. Typically, this refers to either commission (earning money every time a sale is made) or bonus (additional money paid, generally due to good performance).

In some agricultural careers, such as those listed below, the bonus can add up to a significant part of the total compensation. However, in many instances you will not become “bonus eligible” until you have worked with the company long enough to prove your performance. This is often after you’ve spent at least 2-5 years in the industry.

When I started my career I had to choose between two very different ag career paths. One of those paths was not known for paying bonuses and the other one is on the list below. In hindsight, I am very glad I chose the latter, even though I had no idea at the time what that might look like.

Here are five agricultural career fields that often pay bonuses:


  1. Equipment/Technology Sales
  2. Feed/Grain Merchandising
  3. Meat/Food Processing Operations Management
  4. Corporate Agribusiness Finance
  5. Fertilizer/Chemical Sales


This is not a full list, there are certainly others. What you’ll notice about this list is that these are people who are typically very close to the “P&L” (profit & loss) of the business. They are generating the revenue, minimizing the expenses, and managing the risk of the business. For these reasons, it makes sense to pay them according to performance. The company will say “if we do well, you should do well”.

If you’re the type of person that wants “the ball when the game is on the line”, you are likely to thrive in this type of compensation structure. If you more the person who wants safety and security, maybe this is not your cup of tea.

I am happy to have a conversation with you about these and other agricultural career opportunities. I have current openings in all five of these career categories, among others.

Please send me an email to Tim@AgGrad.com or Tweet me @timhammerich and we can line up a time to talk.

You can also download our FREE 300+ Ag Careers E-Book to learn more about the opportunities in our industry.

Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.