Employment Criteria

Persons applying for Extension Agent positions must meet the degree requirements listed in the job opportunity announcement. Normally for positions working in Agriculture & Natural Resources or Human/Environmental Sciences must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Family and Consumer Sciences. Applicants with Education or closely-related degrees will be considered for positions with 100% 4-H youth responsibility.

Applicants must have either a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 point scale, a minimum of 3.0 during their senior year of undergraduate study, or must have earned a Masters degree.

Formal training beyond the baccalaureate degree or work experience is preferred when applicable to the position being sought.

Recent employment in a profession directly related to Extension education , or recent college coursework directly related to Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences or a closely related program is preferred.

Applicants are expected to pursue programs of professional improvement including subject-matter in-service training and graduate level programs.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, or be lawfully eligible for employment in the United States.

Applicants must exhibit professional characteristics, such as cooperation, reliability, technical and academic competency, leadership skills, and effective communications skills.

Applicants must be willing and will be required to work with all clientele, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, religion or veteran status.

Applicants must be acceptable to the respective county’s Agricultural Extension Advisory Committee.

Acceptance of a position with The University of Tennessee Extension is considered acceptance of the provisions listed above.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent delivers research-based educational programming to farmers, home and landowners, and other clientele based on local needs assessment. Programs for the agriculture and natural resource community include topics related to management of livestock, row crops, horticulture, and natural resources. Additional duties include making on-site visits, consulting clientele to identify issues and problem solve. Other duties include offering services such as soil sampling, plant and pest identification, and pesticide training as well as making treatment and management recommendations.

In some cases, county Extension positions require certain areas of subject matter specialty. However, in all county positions, clientele expect agents to be a source of information on anything related to Agriculture. Therefore, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Natural Resources or have equivalent experience. A balanced curriculum that includes a minimum level of training in each of the Ag disciplines is encouraged.

Recommended Courses

Agriculture and Natural Resources Website

4-H Youth Development

4-H Extension Agents are facilitators of youth development programs, focusing on providing educational experiences that help young people develop life skills and confidence.  Youth aged 9-19 participate in 4-H through in-school 4-H Clubs, project clubs, community clubs, camps, conferences, and events.  In 4‑H programs, youth complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. The hands-on approach in 4-H is proven to grow life skills, with youth exhibiting confidence, independence, resilience, and compassion developed through their 4-H experiences.

4-H Youth Development Website

Family and Consumer Sciences

Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agents will concentrate their programming efforts in four core areas informed by needs assessment: Family, Health, Food, and Money. Within these domains, agents deliver research-based educational classes and programs. Program offerings encompass a wide range of topics, including but not limited to money management, financial education, relationship building, parenting, childcare, nutrition, food preservation, fitness, and chronic disease prevention. Agents support a wide variety of grant-funded initiatives, including nutrition education programs such as the Tennessee Nutrition and Community Education Program and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, as well as workforce development initiatives like Skill Up Tennessee. To maximize the impact of their efforts, FCS agents collaborate with community partners, volunteers, and Extension Specialists to plan, implement, and evaluate community interventions and educational programming efforts that improve the quality of life for all audiences.

Bachelor’s degree in family and consumers and/or majoring in nutrition, culinary arts, child and family studies, consumer economics, human ecology, community health, or a closely related major.

Required Coursework

Family and Consumer Sciences Website

Additional Resources