Do you aspire to have a job where you feel like you’re making a difference in the world? Then a career in Environment and Agriculture could be just what you’re looking for.

Careers in Environment and Agriculture

A career in Environment and Agriculture can lead you to work in a wide variety of ways. One day you could be working from home, the next day travelling around the world. You could be doing field work, desk work or a combination of both.

Agriculture contributed over £10.6 million to the UK’s economy in 2019, and created 476,000 jobs, making it one of the country’s largest workforces. There is a growing interest in ‘green businesses’, as employers become increasingly aware of their carbon footprint, investing in efforts to offset their emissions. With the increasing demands for food across the globe, skilled graduates could provide the answer when working towards finding a solution.

There is a wide variety of roles within both industries. Some examples of job roles include:

Agricultural consultant

An agricultural consultant or advisor supports businesses within the industry by providing technical advice, ensuring they run as efficiently as possible. Workers need to have a good knowledge and understanding of legislation whilst maintaining an excellent eye for detail.

Plant breeder/geneticist

Breeders and geneticists focus on the quality and performance of crops and analyse their results in a laboratory. They also create new varieties and traits in plants, alongside trialling new species to be used throughout the farming industry.

Estates/Farm manager

Ranging from ensuring a farm or estate is run as smoothly as possible, to focusing on the preservation of historical sites and managing finances, managers require leadership and negotiation qualities, and strong time-management skills to succeed.

Environmental consultant

The work of an Environment consultant involves advising and assessing the environmental output of a wide range of companies and organisations, whilst providing technical advice on ways they can reduce or eliminate their environmental damage.

Environmental engineer

Unlike consultants, environmental engineers play a key role in designing new technologies and processes that focus on protecting the planet. They are expected to travel to various sites and work throughout the year on a variety of projects

Nature conservation officer

Passionate about making a difference to the environment and raising awareness, nature conservation officers encourage others to make changes and work hard to educate all sectors of the community.

Key Skills

To succeed in both industries, you must be passionate about your work and care about making a difference. As a graduate, your experience will provide you with an excellent understanding of the sector and the key issues it faces. These are some of the skills you will acquire and can use when applying for roles within the sector:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Time management and planning skills
  • Research
  • Using your initiative

Nearly 77% of graduates from agriculture and environment find work within six months of completing their degree, with another 11% moving on to further postgraduate studies. A number of graduate schemes prefer candidates with some work experience, and it is a good idea to find an internship or summer placement to enhance your CV.

Graduate Schemes

A graduate scheme in either industry can be an appealing prospect for those with the acquired knowledge and skills, and there is a wide variety of companies and organisation offering a range of fantastic opportunities. Some examples include:

Environmental Agency – The government EA employs over 16,500 throughout the UK and offers graduates the chance to be a part of a well-supported programme experiencing different teams within the organisation.

AB Agri – A market-leader with over 3,000 employees worldwide, AB Agri offers a variety of graduate schemes in the agricultural industry, ranging from supply chain logistics to nutrition.

NFU – By joining their graduate scheme, NFU offers applicants the chance to expand and develop their agriculture knowledge, through experiencing a wide range of placements across the country.