- assessing the environmental impact of intensive agricultural production methods
- supervising agricultural construction projects, like land drainage, reclamation and irrigation
- solving engineering problems, for example, designing all-terrain vehicles that can move over uneven ground in different weather conditions (known as terramechanics)
- testing and installing new equipment, such as harvesters, crop sprayers, storage facilities and logging machinery
- analysing GPS and weather data and using computer modelling to advise farmers and businesses on land use, for instance how to increase crop yields or cope with changing climate conditions
- planning service and repair programmes for machinery.
Depending on the size of the company, you might also be involved in managing and coordinating sales, marketing and technical support.
Starting salaries for graduate agricultural engineers are around £25,000 a year. Experienced engineers can earn between £25,000 and £35,000.
Chartered engineers can earn over £40,000 a year.
Some overseas relief and development positions may be offered on a voluntary basis.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
Skills, interests and qualities
To be an agricultural engineer, you should have:
- the ability to analyse data
- a creative approach to problem solving
- excellent technical, scientific, maths and IT skills
- the ability to prioritise and plan work effectively
- good budgeting skills
- the ability to take responsibility and lead a team
- the ability to meet deadlines
- excellent communication and presentation skills
- a willingness to work flexibly
- a commitment to keep up to date with new developments in technology and production methods
- an interest in environmental issues.