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Career profile: Agricultural engineer

agricultural engineer fieldLove the countryside? We give you the lowdown on how Agricultural engineers work with a range of people to make the best use of the land.

A what?

Agricultural engineers work on making efficient equipment for land-based industries. As well as working in agriculture, they can also be important in conservation and environmental work.

On the job

If you can’t stand the thought of sitting in an office all day, then agricultural engineering might be the job for you. Most engineers spend some of their time working outdoors visiting farms and rural areas, the rest of their time is usually spent in a laboratory where they research and test new equipment.

As well as working on new designs and improving existing products, some engineers will help to train other people on how to install and maintain equipment. They can also work on environmental projects to help limit the impact agriculture has on the animals and wild plants.

There are now more chances for Agricultural engineers to travel to other countries where they can help give advice on farming practices and show their equipment – so it’s definitely not a normal nine-to-five job!

How do I get there?

One way to get into this type of work is to do an engineering degree. To get into this type of course at university, you normally need five GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), and a minimum of two A-levels or the equivalent, including physics and/or maths.

Future prospects

Agricultural engineering is a constantly growing area, especially as people are interested in finding more environmentally friendly ways to work with the land. At the moment there are 4,000 land-based engineering businesses, employing almost 45,000 people and this will only increase, so someone with the right skills and qualifications should have a good chance of getting a job.

Salaries range between £18,000 a year and over £50,000 depending on where you live and your level of experience.

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