Agricultural systems are evolving globally. Farmers and agri-entrepreneurs are demanding trustworthy and efficient extension and advisory services that they can rely on to improve their farming systems and associated enterprises. In this context, extension professionals are expected to be versatile and be competent in their services. Competency refers to having required knowledge, skills and abilities in both process skills and technical subject matters to effectively deliver assigned services. Competency needs are context specific and dynamic. Thus, it is imperative to periodically examine what competencies extension professionals possess and how they value them. This cross-sectional study sought to examine the perceived importance of key competencies among agricultural extension professionals in Nepal. Extension professionals in Nepal’s public agricultural and livestock development offices and agriculture-based non-governmental organizations comprised the study population. Survey data were collected from August to September 2015 through self-, group-administered, and web-based questionnaire. The respondents rated eight core competencies as important or very important. Their perceptions of the importance of these core competencies significantly differed across their current positions, level of education, age, and experience in extension services but not across their educational institutions, employers, and gender. There is a need to develop extension education curricula integrating these core competencies and providing education and training on these core competencies to extension professionals.