Agricultural engineer

land-based engineer agricultural adviser

Career outlook for

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

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would assess the techniques used by farmers and landowners and explain how they can improve their land.

You'd plan and supervise construction projects to tackle environmental problems.

You'd work with specialist machinery used in farming, forestry and horticulture. For example, you might design the all-terrain vehicles which can move over uneven ground in different weather conditions.

You'd also help farmers, landowners and government departments understand issues such as crop diversity, sustainable land use and adapting to climate change.

You would:

  • Assess the environmental impact of intensive agricultural production methods
  • Supervise land drainage, reclamation and irrigation construction projects
  • Solve agricultural engineering problems
  • Test and install new equipment, such as harvesters, crop sprayers, storage facilities and logging machinery
  • Analyse weather and GPS data, then use computer modelling to advise farmers and businesses how to improve their land use

Depending on the size of the company you work for, you might also manage and coordinate sales, or do marketing and technical support. It would be important to be willing to work flexibly.

You would need to keep up to date with new developments in technology and production methods.

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, though when you're out and about your working hours may be longer, depending on the job.

Environment

You could be based in a laboratory, workshop or office for design and research work. Site work would be in all weather conditions, on farms or construction projects.

Travel

You may have to travel, possibly overseas, depending on your role.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Taking the lead
  • Presenting to people
  • Using computers
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Solving mathematical problems
  • Researching and investigating
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management

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.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

You would need a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) and/or degree (SCQF level 9/10) or a work-based qualification such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Land-based engineering (SVQ level 2/3).

There are no Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) recognised Agricultural Engineering Degrees in Scotland but other mechanical and engineering degrees are acceptable.

Agricultural, and Rural Skills courses are available at Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8): the minimum entry requirements are CC Highers.

For a degree (SCQF level 9/10), the minimum entry is BBCC Highers.

 

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Engineering science
  • Practical electronics
  • Design technologies
  • Geography

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show an understanding of the industry such as Engineering Skills (SCQF level 4).

Once in work or qualified, membership of Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) can be helpful.  

You can also register with the Engineering Council as a professional engineer – either Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).