Agricultural engineers design, install and service agricultural, horticultural and forestry machinery and equipment. They also advise farmers, landowners and government departments on countryside issues. These could range from crop diversity through to sustainable land use.
If you like solving problems, are good at maths and science and want a varied job with excellent prospects this could be an ideal career choice.
- ssessing the environmental impact of intensive agricultural production methods
- supervising agricultural construction projects, like land drainage, reclamation and irrigation
- solving engineering problems, for example, designing all-terrain vehicles that can move over uneven ground in different weather conditions (known as terramechanics)
- testing and installing new equipment, such as harvesters, crop sprayers, storage facilities and logging machinery
- analysing GPS and weather data and using computer modelling to advise farmers and businesses on land use, for instance how to increase crop yields or cope with changing climate conditions
- planning service and repair programmes for machinery.
- the ability to analyse data
- a creative approach to problem solving
- excellent technical, scientific, maths and IT skills
- the ability to prioritise and plan work effectively
- good budgeting skills
- the ability to take responsibility and lead a team
- the ability to meet deadlines
- excellent communication and presentation skills
- a willingness to work flexibly
- a commitment to keep up to date with new developments in technology and production methods
- an interest in environmental issues.
Average salary (2014):
United Kingdom: Starting salaries for graduate agricultural engineers are around £25,000 a year.Qualifications and training required:
To become an agricultural engineer you can take a foundation degree, HND or degree in agricultural engineering.
You can also get into this career with a more general engineering foundation degree, HND or degree, such as:
- environmental engineering
- electrical or mechanical engineering.
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