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Careers In The UK Agricultural Sector

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Careers In The UK Agricultural Sector

Working in agriculture can be a fulfilling career for many people and there is a wide range of different agricultural jobs on offer. Modern agriculture is a diverse industry, offering global opportunities to work within an innovative sector which provides such an important contribution to everyday life.

Some of the reasons to choose a career in agriculture include:

- Great graduate opportunities with prospects for growth
- It's an area of labour shortage in the UK and estimates suggest that up to 60,000 new workers will be required in the sector by the year 2020
- Existing workers recommend agriculture as a great area in which to work
- Work can be found in some of the most beautiful, scenic areas in the UK and overseas
- Future prospects are bright, as people always need to eat; food production is important to every economy
- Average agricultural wages are in excess of the national wage
- It's not essential to have a farming background

Types of jobs in agriculture

There is a diverse range of jobs within the agricultural sector. You could choose farm-based jobs, but work in agriculture also encompasses agricultural engineering, working as a scientist, business adviser, researcher, sales and marketing for some of the large agricultural corporations, farm trader, farm manager, retailing, food manufacturing or qualifying to become a vet.

Some of the available jobs include:

Farm worker

Farm workers and labourers carry out all the practical work on farms, including milking cows and caring for livestock and using different types of farm machinery to cultivate the fields and carry out the harvesting. Every day is different in farm work, as the seasons and weather dictate the type of work needing to be carried out.

Farm manager

Farm managers need a wide range of business and practical skills, as they plan and manage the daily operations of farms. It's not always essential to have a degree to work as a farm manager, as extensive practical farming expertise can also be a route into management. Farm manager jobs may also involve elements of practical work around the farm, depending on the size of farm and number of employees. On the whole, though, farm managers will spend more of their work time on budgeting, planning, forecasting and planning, to ensure the farm remains profitable and viable at all times.


Agronomists are plant specialists and work with farmers to ensure that maximum yields are produced and that crops are maintained at healthy levels. It's the agronomist that makes decisions on the different chemicals and products which should be used to maintain disease-free crops and control weeds in fields.

Working as an agronomist means spending a good deal of time physically examining fields on a regular basis in the growing season to ensure any signs of disease or problems are spotted at an early stage. Agronomists also need to be familiar with the regulatory framework, so any advice is in compliance with current legislation.

Farm consultant

Farm consultants may specialise in technical support or business management. They provide landowners and farmers with the specialist advice needed to keep businesses running in a profitable, efficient manner. The type of business management consultancy offered may include business restructuring, cashflow, budgeting and ways to comply with regulatory requirements. Technical consultants specialise in offering advice on the viability of different crops, ways to care for livestock more effectively and the manner of selling end products to consumers and manufacturers.

Feed nutritionist

Getting the feed regime correct for farm livestock is an important deciding factor on whether meat makes a profit or loss when marketed. Feed specialists give farmers advice and support on feeding their livestock in a way that maximises growth and health to give the best possible reproduction and performance. Feed nutritionists need to meet regularly with sheep, dairy and beef farmers to evaluate the nutritional and chemical value of feeds and work out the most cost-effective rations to provide the best performance.

Agricultural sales

Agricultural sales representatives are employed to sell a wide range of different products to farmers and growers, including feed, fertilisers, farm machinery and seed.

People planning to work in agricultural sales will need to be good listeners, with the ability to share information and advice to inform the buying decision. It's usual for sales representatives to be specialists in their area, as they should have the ability to provide pertinent advice and build long-term relationships with landowners within their sales area. Agricultural sales jobs entail a lot of travelling around meeting up with different farmers and landowners and also developing new business leads.

Grain buyer

Grain buyers work closely with growers to buy crops as soon as they have been harvested. They buy a range of different products, including barley, wheat, oilseed rape and oats, and work on latest market data to provide pricing scales to growers. The job involves a good deal of telephone contact and visits to client farms for sales meetings.

Salaries for agricultural workers

Workers within the UK agricultural sector can expect to earn over the national average wage, according to a 2015 survey from the Farmers' Weekly newspaper. Some sample salary levels include:

Workers in the agricultural supply trade

Salaries for workers in the agricultural supply trade averaged around £33,500 and 15% of survey respondents indicated salaries above £50,000. You can also expect a range of benefits in kind in this type of work, including mobile phones and company cars.

Established agronomists, with an existing customer base, can expect to earn upwards of £100,000 annually.

Farm workers and labourers

Farm labourers and workers earn just below average salaries at around £26,100. However, farm work can also include a number of benefits, such as cottages/accommodation, overtime earnings, company vehicles and mobile phones. Workers on large arable farms tend to earn more, with average salaries coming in at around £34,500.

If you're an employer seeking experienced farming candidates for agricultural jobs in any sector, or a candidate looking for the best farming opportunities in the UK and overseas, contact Agricultural Recruitment Specialists for more details. We are a professional recruitment agency within the sector and take time to source the right candidates for all of the roles we handle.

If you are looking to progress your career, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are the worldwide recruitment leader in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at:

Alternatively, if you are a client looking to expand your team, whilst using a professional recruitment / headhunting solution, then please call us today on 01905 345155 or email us at: