Agronomists are particular types of scientists who spend their time analysing the relationships between soil conditions and the growth rate of crops, in an attempt to calculate the factors that influence crop growth. From this, agronomists can then attempt to improve soil productivity, and allow farmers to grow more crops in the same amount of land. Equally, they can work on plant genetics, seeking to establish higher quality seeds, as well as working out how to increase the nutritional value of the produce grown.
As such, agronomist jobs are ideal for anyone with an interest in natural sciences, farming, the outdoors, as well as being perfect for anyone looking to use their scientific knowledge and conduct experiments to make a real impact on the lives of everyday consumers.
What does this involve on a day to day basis?
In order to undertake and present this research, there are a number of tasks an agronomist might undertake on a day to day basis, with the specifics of that day’s work depending upon where you are in your scientific research. On a typical day an agronomist may:
• Compose and subsequently conduct experiments which seek to determine how to improve crop production methods, or the nutritional quality of produce
• Analyse any data found, understand trends and attempt to explain any anomalous results
• Seek opportunities to improve established farming methods and agricultural products
• Educate farm managers on how your findings can best be used in their specific arable land and farming strategies
• Recommend chemical application, fertilisers, and pesticides
• Plan crop rotation strategies
• Undertake field studies
• Report on your findings, both through written documents, presentations and verbal reports
As such, the role of an agronomist is varied and will involve applying yourself to a number of different tasks. One of the key skills necessary is being able to understand a general theory or thought process and subsequently apply this to a specific situation. As such, all agronomists will become experts in giving specific and tailored advice to the farm managers they work with.
What qualifications would I need?
The specific educational requirements and qualifications needed for any agronomist job are likely to differ between the specialities chosen by the individual. Some companies and farms will look to hire people straight from school if they can demonstrate an aptitude and enthusiasm for the job, although this usually requires high grades in science and geography. However, it is more likely that companies will hire people looking for agronomist jobs when they have undertaken a relevant bachelor’s degree, especially if the candidate is looking to undertake applied research within the field.
BASIS qualifications are also normally essential for anyone looking for senior agronomist positions, but these can usually be taken as part of ‘on the job’ training. BASIS stands for ‘Basic Agricultural And Social Improvement Schemes’, and acts as the foremost authority in training and auditing individuals who work within agriculture, especially, with regards to pesticides, fertilisers, and chemicals. As such, an in-date BASIS qualification is a legal requirement for anyone who advises on, or sells, pesticides within the UK.
What personal skills should an agronomist have?
As with all jobs in agriculture, an agronomist needs to have a genuine interest in the outdoors, and with farming issues in general. The job may involve working long hours in the open air, and agronomists should expect to complete their research in all weather conditions. As a scientist, an ideal agronomist will also have a desire in advancing human knowledge and will seek to make a difference in the day to day lives of individuals, as well as the farming industry as a whole.
Agronomists will also be required to present their findings across a wide range of platforms, so agronomist should be able to present their views and arguments clearly through a variety of mediums, including presentations and written reports.
Equally, agronomists need to be able to analyse problems deeply, be able to self-motive, and should have a good degree of computer literacy, as the research is likely to involve a large amount of computer modelling. Furthermore, an agronomist needs to be able to apply their knowledge to a wide variety of specific situations, and therefore must be able to make decisions quickly and decisively.
What sort of salaries do agronomists earn?
The amount of money that you would receive from an agronomist job varies depending upon the specialism you undertake, and the years of experience you have within the role. For salary averages in the UK, agronomists are likely to earn:
• At an entry level, an agronomist with little or no experience is looking to earn between £20,000 to £25,000 per year.
• Agronomists with larger amounts of experience and specialist knowledge should expect to make approximately £40,000.
• Senior agronomists with expert knowledge conducting high-level research can expect to earn around £50,000 or more. Some agronomists can even reach 6 figure salaries!
Who employs agronomists, and where should I look for agronomy jobs?
There are a wide range of bodies which look to employ agronomists. The most prolific of these are:
• Research firms
• Governmental bodies
• Private companies offering agronomic or farming consultancy services
As such, it is worth looking at these organisations as your first port of call to find an agronomist job.
Equally, it is well worth considering seeking agronomy jobs through specialist recruitment companies. At Agricultural Recruitment Specialists, we pride ourselves on offering market leading UK and international agricultural recruitment services. By finding and matching the best talent to their ideal jobs, and selecting perfect candidates for your vacancy, we endeavour to be the best. Not only do we offer specific and tailored services for all of our clients giving them the outcome they deserve, but we also recruit and headhunt across a whole range of levels and industries, generating a wide pool of talent and only dealing with top clients. For more information about how we can help you with your job search, or helping you to find the right candidate for your agricultural vacancy, speak to one of our friendly team at https://www.agrirs.co.uk/contact-us.