If you're considering a career in the agrochemical industry, you will be glad to know that it offers a wide spectrum of career opportunities, from laboratories to farms. Plenty of career options are available in the fields of pest, weed and disease management as well as manufacturing and research.
There's no doubt that agriculture and its allied activities have undergone huge changes in the past few decades. The way in which we farm has changed from a totally manual industry to a highly mechanised and automated one, from labour intensive to profit intensive.
Today, all over the planet, agriculture is enhanced by scientific knowledge, and it embraces new technology and research to produce more crops and prevent damage. Fluctuation in the world's economy has changed the way agriculture is practised, as well as the creation of new fields and career prospects in agriculture.
Is the agrochemical industry key to agriculture today?
The industry has introduced agrochemicals to farming, allowing farmers to increase returns on their crops (positively affecting their income), and implement successful methods of fighting pest disease.
With new developments like the introduction of 'greener' chemicals; the development of plant propagating and growing techniques; state of the art agricultural equipment and precise soil testing techniques; and the use of biological products, the agrochemical industry is breaking new ground every day.
Can my marketing degree get me into an agrochemical career?
If you have a flair for selling, the sky is the limit for a marketing graduate. New agrochemical products are produced constantly, and possessing special expertise and experience in marketing can be a real asset in this field.
The marketing of agrochemicals has a dual audience: retailers and farmers directly. Most manufacturing companies of agrochemicals have dedicated marketing departments that work round the clock to promote their new products to an agricultural audience.
If you have a degree in marketing, you will need to ensure your skills suit the needs of the agrochemical industry. An understanding of rural marketing is also important. Ultimately, agrochemical marketing can be a fruitful career.
What about agricultural law?
If you come from a law or licensing background, you could try a career as a pesticide regulatory specialist.
Licensing and registration are an integral part of the agrochemical industry. If you are interested in environmental law, you will find this kind of work very rewarding. To guarantee environmental compliance and animal welfare, it's a legal requirement to ensure that the composition of agrochemical products is restricted and correct procedures are in place when acquiring a licence for the production and sale of such products.
This is the role of a pesticide regulatory specialist. Statutory compliance to health and environment laws as well as new product registration are the main functions of this role.
Agrochemical manufacturing companies have a real need for regulatory specialists, who make sure their products comply with the law. In agrochemical farming, adhering to such regulations is very important for the collective health of the country.
Degree-level knowledge of agrochemicals and agricultural laws, as well as good management skills and an enquiring mind (in order to look over legal matters of licensing and registration), are vital for the job.
What other careers can I expect with an agrochemical science degree?
Quality assurance expert
In the field of agriculture, which provides us with daily sustenance to survive in this world, quality assurance and control is a necessary function. Therefore, at every stage of agrochemicals production as well as on the field, quality must be tested accurately and promptly.
This job requires constant reviewing of raw material information, early detection of environmental changes, as well as the inspection of equipment, materials and crops. Crop testing specialists, who test the agrochemical product on the crops, work closely with these quality control experts by conducting scientific experiments with prototypes on certain crops in order to collect and review the information through observation.
Quality experts need to be knowledgeable about the agrochemicals and their possible side effects, and also need to possess the personality for such a role. You will also need to have a degree of physical fitness, as this role relies on on-field presence.
Agrochemical formulation scientist
This is perhaps the top job for people who are interested in the agrochemical industry and the processes involved. Formulation scientists are fundamental to the production of agrochemicals as well as the post-production work of transferring technology to the field from the lab.
New product development and direct involvement in designing are the exciting opportunities that await a formulation scientist in agrochemicals. Since this involves a lot of lab work, people with previous experience in labs and those who are familiar with chemicals are highly recommended for this role. A background in extensive chemical research in laboratories is a must.
What do companies look for in an agrochemical scientist?
You need expertise in your particular discipline (chemistry, biology, toxicology, or process engineering, for example) but also a broader scientific base. You need an interest in other aspects of science too, because you'll be working with people from the other branches.
With all kinds of innovation going on in the field, what is the job market in agrochemicals really like?
New lab techniques, increased numbers of compounds to screen, and expanding toxicology and environmental programmes are other reasons for companies to hire extra scientists. Environmental changes, sustainability and the future of farming are now at the forefront of most countries’ government policies. Given that the industry is so often under attack by pressure groups, perhaps recruiting in this area is a particularly urgent requirement.
It is clear that the agrochemical industry is developing a number of exciting new career opportunities for the future of farming in general. The constant evolution of new technologies and ways of managing crops and livestock will be key factors in the future of the agrochemical industry.
This is the right time to consider exploring this field, with a view to long-term career goals and the passion to make a difference in farming.
Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts 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: www.agriRS.co.uk or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk
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