Your Ultimate Guide to a Career in Agriculture and Environment

Are you at your happiest when you’re covered head-to-toe in mud?

Not many people would answer ‘yes’ to that question. But if you did, a career in agriculture and environment might be perfect for you.

Every single one of us relies on the agriculture and environment industry to put food on our plates and keep the natural world around us healthy.

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Agriculture and Environment Apprenticeships: young women planting a seed in the ground.

The basics

Learn the laws of the land with a career in agriculture and environment.

Jobs in agriculture and environment involve specialised skills and knowledge that combine centuries-old practices with ultra-modern technology. It’s not all about academia – it’s about experience and knowing how to move with the times. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to get stuck in and learn practical skills about animal health, land management, sustainable farming and more.

Agriculture is a hugely innovative career, more so than you might expect. Ever heard of ‘Ag Tech’? It means ‘agricultural technology’.

The industry has rapidly adopted new technology to make repetitive and manual work faster and more efficient, allowing farm workers and other professionals to use cutting-edge tech as part of their daily workload.

So, what kind of jobs and apprenticeships are available in the agriculture and environment industry?

This system provides many opportunities for careers in education. You can find apprenticeships designed to facilitate a career at these different levels. 

Types of Agriculture & Environment Apprenticeships

Agriculture and Farming Apprenticeships

Not afraid to get stuck in? You can pursue careers like farm manager and herd manager.

A farmer’s job has evolved significantly in the last 100 years, and there’s more to agriculture than working with the land. You’ll learn about how new technology (like AI and robotics) has transformed the agriculture industry. Some apprenticeships, like the Ag Tech Apprenticeship at agricultural machinery business Ben Burgess, teach you how to work with top-of-the-range tech and engineering like satellite and Formula 1 transmission technology.

Environment Apprenticeships

There are few things more important to our world than the environment we live in. When working in the environmental industry, you could become an environmental scientist, ecologist or sustainability consultant. You’ll champion and protect biodiversity and help the natural environment and all its animals thrive.

Produce Production Apprenticeship

Some apprenticeships focus on a particular type of farming, such as milk, beef or sheep production, giving you expert knowledge in this subject area. The study topics might include things like the specific nutrition, environments and health requirements of the animals.

Plus, you’ll learn about the supply chain for this particular produce and the business management strategies required to keep the produce moving from farm to plate.

Entry requirements?

You’ll need GCSEs in English and Maths at grade 4 or above; other qualifications are a huge bonus. 

Aside from academic achievements, agriculture is all about having the right attitude. Being out in the fields might sound fun when the sun’s shining and there’s a cold cider waiting for you at home, but this industry is no walk in the park. Hard labour and long hours are involved, so you need to be the sort of person who enjoys being physically active and appreciates nature.

Apprenticeship Levels

Apprenticeships are split into levels depending on length and the qualification that you receive at the end. Possible qualifications that you’ll get could be:

Level 2 (intermediate) – equivalent to 5 GCSEs (at grades 9 to 4)

The majority of agriculture apprenticeships are Level 2, such as:

Level 3 (advanced) – equivalent to 2 A-levels

Remember when we talked about Ag Tech earlier in the article? Well, here are some apprenticeships that help you gain expertise in this area:

Levels 4 and 5 (higher) – equivalent to a foundation degree 

Agriculture apprenticeships at Levels 4 and 5 are less common, but you can still find a few – such as a  Countryside Ranger Apprenticeship with Green Jobs for Nature and this Level 5 Agriculture Apprenticeship at Scotland’s Rural College. 

Levels 6 and 7 (degree) – you’ll get a full bachelor’s and/or master’s degree

Yep, that’s right: with some high-level apprenticeships you can achieve a full degree at the end, without going to university. Imagine earning a full degree. Sounds crazy, but it’s achievable with apprenticeship programmes like these:

Agriculture and environment degree apprenticeships

It’s possible to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in agriculture and environment – but why pay for it?

Instead, you can choose a Level 6 or 7 degree apprenticeship to graduate with a full bachelor’s or master’s degree without the uni fees and student loans. During the apprenticeship, you’ll get paid a great wage as you work towards an internationally recognised qualification in the field of agriculture, environment or animal welfare.

The Latest Agriculture and Environment Apprenticeships:

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Sector spotlight

Farming is no longer just about the animals. In our technology-driven world, farm machinery is the big topic of conversation in the world of agriculture. While the driving motivation behind Ag Tech adoption is the speed and efficiency of tech compared to human farmers, technology also makes farmers’ lives loads easier. 

For example, did you know that there are predictive weather technologies designed specifically to help farmers predict the variability between their crops? Have you heard of things like biopesticides? 

Ag Tech is propelling the world of agriculture into a new and exciting era. Of course, farming is still about the animals – but it’s about the future, too.