Saturday, 20th April 2019


Jobs and careers in agriculture

Agriculture refers to the process of cultivating land, growing crops, and raising and breeding livestock.

Farming is the generic term given to working in agriculture, but the UK industry is vast and can be further broken down into a number of different sectors.

Agriculture is one of the industry paths within the UK covers an array of land and wildlife-based sectors, providing the country with natural resources, food and drink.

Agriculture industry within the UK

In the UK, there are approximately 130,000 businesses working in the agricultural industry with over half a million workers, split into the various sectors (LANTRA).

Jobs in the agricultural industry range from physical, laborious roles to positions in research and management.

There are a number of political, economic and environmental factors that affect employment prospects in agriculture, including:

  • Government policy – whilst the sector is subsidised, a market based approach is growing in popularity
  • Food imports – the UK sees an enormous amount of food imported from around the world, but there is growing support for home-grown produce
  • Economy – whilst demand for food is consistent, big supermarket chains can push down the prices of food and consumer habits can change
  • Climate change – the changing climate will inevitably affect the quality and quantity of crops, livestock and agriculture in general

Different types of careers within the agricultural industry

Livestock, crop agriculture, aquaculture, and game and wildlife all come under the umbrella of modern farming.

The industry demands an abundance of different skills and there is an increasing requirement employment of young people into the industry; agriculture industries are often linked to family businesses and, currently, many people in the workforce are approaching the age of retirement.

For more information on the different job paths within Agriculture, please follow the links below:

Getting involved

Working in agriculture can be demanding at times. Much of the work requires physical strength, technical skill and good communication, and often involves working outdoors.

The route into agricultural careers depends on the type of job you go after. As a lot of the jobs in the Agriculture industry are practical, many people start off in an apprenticeship or take a vocational qualification at an agricultural college.

It is possible to study agricultural management and other relevant subjects at university, but technical and practical skills are more useful in a lot of jobs.

Further resources