This week we are looking at what experience, qualifications and legal requirements are needed to successfully become an Agricultural Engineer within the UK agricultural and farming industry. We will also look at the working hours and income.
The role of an Agricultural Engineer includes the design, installation and servicing of agricultural, horticultural and forestry machinery and equipment. As well as hands on engineering; an Agricultural Engineer must also advise farmers, landowners and government departments on countryside matters, including sustainable land use and crop diversity.
An Agricultural Engineering job would be an ideal career choice for good problem solvers, who are great at maths and science and would enjoy a varied job role.
The typical work activities included in an Agricultural Engineer's job role are as follows:
Assessment of the environmental footprint of the intense agricultural production methods
Organising repair and service programmes for agricultural, horticultural and forestry machinery
Surveying GPS and weather data with the use of computer modelling in order to advise farmers and landowners how to increase crop yields depending on climate conditions
Problem solving of any engineering issues
The installation and testing of new equipment i.e. crop sprayers, harvesters, storage facilities and logging machinery
Supervision of all projects such as land drainage, reclamation and irrigation
Working Hours and Conditions
The standard working hours for an Agricultural Engineer is 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. However, when you are out and about then your working hours could be longer, depending on the job that is being carried out.
An Agricultural Engineer is normally based within an office, laboratory or workshop. Regardless of the weather conditions, outdoor site work , farm work, or construction work will be required. There is a possibility that you will be required to travel, throughout the UK or overseas, depending on your role.
A graduate Agricultural Engineer could earn a salary starting of £25,000 per year, onwards.
An experienced Agricultural Engineer can earn in the region of £25,000 – £35,000 per year.
Chartered Engineers can earn more than £40,000 per year.
*Figures are a guideline only
Training, Qualifications and Requirements
To successfully become an Agricultural Engineer you are required to take a foundation degree, HND degree or another degree within agricultural engineering.
You can also take a more general engineering foundation degree, HND or Degree to become an Agricultural Engineer such as:
Electrical or Mechanical Engineering
You can look more into any of the above courses on the UCAS website, or via individual College or University websites.
If however, you have not qualified for any of the above, you could chose to take further education within a Land-Based Engineering subject, or similar experience. You could then slowly become an Agricultural Engineer by starting as an Agricultural Engineering Technician, then study further to qualify as an Agricultural Engineer.
Skills and Interests
You should have all of the following skills and interests to become an Agricultural Engineer:
The ability to analyse data
An excellent problem solver
Have great technical, scientific, maths and IT skills
Understand how to prioritise your work load
Good budgeting skills
Ability to manage a team
Able to meet deadlines
Excellent communication skills
Excellent presentation skills
Able to work flexibly
Interested in environmental issues
If you are looking for a new job opportunity to become an Agricultural Engineer within the UK agricultural and farming industry, please register free as a job seeker with us today – we could have the perfect job for you!