Jobs in agriculture cover a wide range of careers, from a general farm worker to a farm manager to a herdsman or shepherd. Other types of work may include farm mechanic or technician and administrator. The field of agriculture also covers forestry, agricultural supplies, animal nutrition, soil science, energy-efficient practices, animal therapy, and even insect farming. On the whole, agricultural workers need to enjoy the outdoors as no matter what type of job they do they will at some time need practical experience in the field. People who work on farms often work long hours, need to keep weekends free for the job during busy times, and may have to go out in all sorts of weathers.
Agriculture Worker Education Requirements
Because of the variety of work available in the agriculture industry, educational requirements differ. Usually:
General farm workers, herdsmen and shepherds need no qualifications except good health and an abundance of self-motivation. College diploma and certificate courses and apprenticeships help with career prospects.
Farm managers need at least a diploma in an agricultural-related subject, and those with degrees and some years of practical experience often fare better when looking for jobs. In addition, a business management qualification is useful.
Farm mechanics almost always need four GCSEs in English, maths, science or technology, and some IT skills. An apprenticeship is often the best way of getting into this field.
Agricultural engineers need to have a foundation degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND), or a degree in agricultural engineering.
Agriculture Job Market
As the demand for food grows globally, agriculture is set to become expanding industry. For example, the predicted number of employed farm managers by 2017 is 978,000 and will continue to increase. However, the estimated number of employed general farm workers in 2017 is 450,000 and this figure will remain stable.
Agriculture Job Salaries
Salaries vary according to skills, qualifications, and experience, but starting salaries for farm managers are around £20,000 per year and with experience may go up to between £25,000 and £30,000. Well qualified and experienced individuals in agriculture can expect to earn up to £42,000 annually. General farm workers can anticipate an income of between £13,000 and £20,000, depending on length of service and responsibilities.