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Environment

Agronomist

Agronomists advise farmers on soil management and crop production.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £45,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

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

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • advise farmers on land management and how to improve their crop yields
  • study soil, water and other factors which affect crop growth
  • create chemical treatment plans to keep crops free of pests and weeds
  • record information on plant growth and environmental conditions
  • carry out field trials to solve clients' crop problems
  • keep up to date with product developments and legislation

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
  • applying for a graduate training scheme
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies
University

There's no set route to become an agronomist but it may be helpful to do a foundation degree or degree in:

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could work towards this role by doing a relevant college course like a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture.

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
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.

You can also apply for a graduate training scheme if you have a degree. Schemes are offered by independent consultancies or companies selling agro-chemicals, seed or fertiliser products.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

It's really useful to get as much arable farming experience as possible.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Association of Independent Crop Consultants and BASIS, for professional recognition and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become an agronomist from Tasty Careers.

You could specialise in precision farming methods 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
  • 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
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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