JOBS IN AGRICULTURE
Own and operate farms. Depending on the type of farm they run, responsibilities may include planting crops, caring for livestock and operating machinery.
Responsible for practical and manual work on a farm. This may include working with animals, ploughing fields and harvesting.
Study the relationship between plants, animals and the environment. They may carry out environmental impact assessments or produce lists of species that need to be protected.
Carry out work on trees, including planting, care and maintenance. Also known as arborists, they need a head for heights!
Responsible for managing staff, planning production and marketing and selling produce. They may run their own business or be employed by owners or tenants to run a farm.
Just to name a few...
IS A JOB IN AGRICULTURE RIGHT FOR YOU?
If you care passionately about the environment, love working with plants or animals or just can’t get enough of the great outdoors, then this is the industry for you.
The wide range of roles and skill levels means there are career paths for graduates as well as people who want to get stuck into a job straight from school. And there are plenty of opportunities for self-employment in this industry, so it’s ideal for those who fancy being their own boss one day.
Many careers in agriculture and the environment involve at least some outdoor work and some people in this industry will spend most of their working day outside, whatever the weather. Hours can be long and may vary depending on the season, and for some jobs you will need to be physically fit too.
Options include florists, recycling officers and operatives, farm workers, gardeners and tree surgeons. A-levels that may come in useful to find work or get a place on a relevant course include biology, botany and environmental studies. For BTECs you might want to look at horticulture, environmental sciences or animal management.
Specialist colleges offer a range of courses in areas such as animal care, trees and timber, game and wildlife management, and land-based engineering. The Landex website has a list of land-based colleges and universities in the UK
Apprenticeships are another way into working in agriculture and the environment. For instance the Forestry Commission runs a range of different apprenticeship programmes for people interested in countryside management. Many of the National Parks also offer apprenticeships. And Sainsbury’s runs a horticulture and agriculture apprenticeship scheme.
Careers such as botanists and landscape architects will all need a relevant degree such as ecology, conservation biology, plant science or landscape architecture. They may also be expected to work towards a post-graduate qualification. In other roles, such as farm manager or environmental manager, a degree – in agriculture or environmental engineering for example – will give you a head start.
- Extra credit
Experience can be just as important as qualifications in this line of work, so volunteer as much as you can. Organisations like the National Trust and The Woodland Trust have loads of opportunities for people who want to learn new skills.
There are lots of opportunities to develop your skills on the job. Agricultural colleges and professional bodies like the National Farmers Union and the Institute of Agricultural Management often run short courses, workshops and seminars focused on professional development. In certain jobs, such as an agriculture engineer or landscape architect, you could work towards chartered status.
What they do…
one of the main jobs in agriculture is a farm worker. They’re responsible for the practical and manual work on a farm, whether it’s ploughing fields, harvesting or working with animals. Day-to-day tasks will vary depending on the type of farm and time of year, but could include caring for newborn animals, milking cows, cleaning buildings and machinery, putting up fences.
What they do…
Soil scientists gather and interpret data about the make-up of soil. They analyse information about the soil’s biology in order to give advice about agricultural production.
Soil scientists need a problem-solving approach, report-writing skills and the ability to work alone as well as in a team.
What they do…
This is one of the key agriculture jobs. Agricultural inspectors make sure the food we eat is safe by checking that health and safety rules are being followed on farms, dairies and other agricultural working environments. They also check on animal welfare.
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Check out the careers section of the school website