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Environment

Agronomist Green Job

Agronomists advise farmers on soil health, disease prevention and how to improve crop production and quality.

Annual Salary

£22,500 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: 9am to 5pm; as customers demand

2.4%
Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Agronomist jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • advise farmers on land management and how to improve crop yields
  • study soil, fertilisers and other factors which affect crop growth
  • create chemical, biological and organic treatment plans to promote healthy crops
  • carry out field trials to solve clients' crop problems
  • use new technology to track plant growth and changes in environmental conditions

Green job

As an agronomist, you'll help farmers to produce crops in a more efficient and sustainable way. This can have a positive impact on the environment.

Find out more about green careers

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in an office, on a farm, at a research facility or visit sites.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies
University

You'll usually need qualifications relevant to agriculture like a higher national diploma, foundation degree or degree in:

  • agriculture
  • biology
  • crop and plant science
  • ecology
  • environmental science

Some employers may also look for relevant postgraduate qualifications in subjects like:soil science; genetics; crop technology

With a degree or postgraduate qualification you can apply for a graduate training scheme with organisations, such as:independent consultancies; companies selling agrochemicals, seed or fertiliser products; land and farming charities; government departments

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could get relevant skills and knowledge by taking a course like:

  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Courses like these can help you move on to further training at university or an apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could start your career by doing an Agriculture Professional Adviser Level 6 Higher Apprenticeship.

When you're on this apprenticeship, you'll need to follow the agronomy option.

This apprenticeship can take up to 3 years to complete.

Entry requirements

Most people following this route have:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
  • experience in related work
For more information
Other routes

You could study for the BASIS Foundation Award in Agronomy if you're new to the industry and have limited crop experience and knowledge. This will give you an introduction to agronomy, crop protection and crop nutrition.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

You'll have an advantage when applying for jobs or training, if you have some experience of farm work. Agricultural colleges, universities and local farms may be able to help with this.

Professional and industry bodies

For professional recognition and training opportunities you could join the Association of Independent Crop Consultants or BASIS.

Further information

You can find out more about a career as an agronomist from:Tasty Careers; The Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture; BASIS

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You could specialise in precision farming methods, like laser weeding, or developing nutrition plans for fruit or vegetable crops.

You could also study for a postgraduate master's degree, like soil science or genetics and become a consultant.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • science skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • business management skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to learn through your work
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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