Extension Specialist Career

Job Description: Teach courses in the agricultural sciences. Includes teachers of agronomy, dairy sciences, fisheries management, horticultural sciences, poultry sciences, range management, and agricultural soil conservation. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

*A job as an Extension Specialist falls under the broader career category of Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Extension Specialist Career

What Extension Specialists do:

  • Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
  • Prepare course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
  • Select and obtain materials and supplies such as textbooks and laboratory equipment.
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, laboratory work, assignments, and papers.
  • Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
  • Participate in campus and community events.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, and course materials and methods of instruction.
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
  • Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
  • Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
  • Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
  • Compile bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments.
  • Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
  • Provide professional consulting services to government or industry.
  • Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
  • Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
  • Supervise laboratory sessions and field work and coordinate laboratory operations.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as crop production, plant genetics, and soil chemistry.
  • Act as advisers to student organizations.
  • Perform administrative duties such as serving as department head.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Holland Code Chart for an Extension Specialist