- Design, build and implement engineering solutions for the agricultural industry
- Work in a complex technical environment but with a link to the outdoors
- Good opportunities for career development in engineering
As an agricultural engineer your role would be to design, build and implement solutions to help farmers and others who manage land or crops work more efficiently.
- Assess the environmental impact of agricultural production methods
- Supervise construction projects like land drainage, reclamation and irrigation
- Solve engineering problems like designing all-terrain vehicles to move over uneven ground in different weather conditions
- Test and install new equipment like harvesters, crop sprayers and logging machinery
- Use GPS, weather data and computer modelling to advise farmers and businesses on land use
- Plan service and repair programmes for machinery
You could work in an office, on a farm or in a laboratory. Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
You'll develop a knowledge of maths and physics, and will need to have good attention to detail and logical thinking skills. To get started you could do a foundation degree or degree in agricultural engineering. These courses are offered by specialist agricultural colleges. You can also get into this career with a higher national diploma or degree in environmental, electrical or mechanical engineering.
If you've got a further education qualification in a land-based engineering subject, or relevant experience, you could start as an agricultural engineering technician.
You would then complete further study to qualify as an engineer. You may also be able to start by doing a land-based service engineering technician advanced apprenticeship.
The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) has more information about becoming an agricultural engineer.
With experience you could move into project management or specialist technical research and development.
You could also work towards incorporated or chartered engineer status by applying to the Engineering Council. As a chartered engineer you'll plan, research and develop new ideas. The Institution of Agricultural Engineers has more information. You could also move into technical sales, business development, teaching or consultancy work.