Agricultural consultant

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£43,680

Currently employed in Scotland

8,700

Five year job forecast

+5.41%

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

Advising on machinery, farming methods health and safety and pest control – these are just a few of the things agricultural consultants might do on a daily basis. 

In this job you’d offer technical, business and financial advice and information to farmers, landowners and other agricultural staff.  

If a client came to you with a problem you would typically collect information and data to help analyse the problem. This might involve soil sampling, crop sampling. You’d then develop a solution, plan and implement improvements for the client, while also meeting agricultural practice standards. 

Things you might do:

  • Meet clients to find out about their business or technical requirements 
  • Help with business planning, planning applications, grant applications, legislative advice and new business ventures 
  • Organise and conduct field trials to find solutions to your clients' problems 
  • Prepare reports to analyse and outline findings 
  • Write leaflets, technical documents and press releases and articles 
  • Completing planning applications 
  • Visit farms to carry out analysis and collect data  
  • Keep up to date with relevant developments in agriculture, for example the use of drones to monitor crop growth 

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work Monday to Friday, although you may have to work some longer hours or weekends depending on the season, workload, and client needs.

Environment

You will have to spend much of your time outdoors. You should also be prepared to be outside in all weather conditions.

Travel

Travel would be frequent. You would have to travel to visit farms, clients or suppliers and you may often have to drive long distances to carry out required work.

UK employment status

Full-time

78%

Part-time

10%

Self employed

12%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Persevering
  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Evaluating
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Analysing

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

There are a number of ways to get qualified for this job, through college, university or through work-based qualifications, such as apprenticeships.

Many agricultural consultants will have studied at HND or degree level in agricultural or environmental related fields such as:

  • Agricultural engineering

  • Horticulture

  • Plant/soil science

  • Environmental science

  • Animal or biological science

  • Forestry

In addition, you would normally be expected to have experience in an area such as estate management or a specialism like agronomy (crop production and soil management).  There are postgraduate courses to allow specialism in various areas, such as soil or poultry. 

Modern agriculture involves both the land and environment and business planning and management.  As a consultant it can be useful to gain qualifications and experience in both areas. 

Useful subjects

Many Colleges and Universities will have subjects that you must have for entry. They might also highlight additional subjects that they value. See individual institutions websites for specific entry information. 

Useful subjects would be:

  • Geography

  • Biology/chemistry

  • Environmental science

  • Maths-based subjects

 

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements they might ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that demonstrates a range of transferable skills. A full clean driving license is helpful to have.

You may need to be prepared to move around the UK for job opportunities.

In addition to general recruitment websites, jobs will be advertised on websites such as Farmers Guardian, Farmers Weekly and The Scottish Farmer.  It may be of value to join BIAC, British Institute of Agriculture Consultants.  If you have an established network you may choose to become self-employed.