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Agricultural engineering technician

Agricultural engineering technicians help to solve practical engineering problems in land-based industries.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £38,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship with an equipment manufacturer or service and repair contractor.

The Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) has more information about apprenticeships in agricultural engineering.

You could do a college course in land-based service engineering or technology to improve your chances of finding work.

You could also do a foundation degree in agricultural engineering from Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • good practical skills
  • excellent communication and negotiation skills
  • good problem solving skills
  • IT skills

3. What you'll do

You could be maintaining and repairing machinery in:

  • soil and water management
  • forestry engineering
  • land use planning
  • ground care, like golf courses and parks
  • food processing and engineering

Depending on your role, your day-to-day duties may include:

  • helping agricultural engineers develop new products
  • creating equipment plans using computer aided design (CAD) software
  • making parts and building machinery
  • testing the machinery's electrical and mechanical systems
  • carrying out maintenance checks on mechanical, electrical, electronic, hydraulic and pneumatic systems
  • installing machinery on site
  • inspecting, removing, replacing and testing equipment
  • researching machinery developments and market trends
  • demonstrating and selling new equipment and parts
  • looking after client accounts
  • dealing with enquiries and orders

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000

Experienced: £28,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £38,000 (senior agricultural technician)

You may receive extra allowances for working shifts and overtime.

If you’re self-employed, you could earn more, although you’ll need to consider your overheads, like equipment and insurance costs.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your hours will vary depending on the area you work in.

In manufacturing, you could work in a factory or engineering workshop on a shift system. Service and repair jobs might involve long hours and overtime is common, particularly during the busy period from May to October. If you work in sales, you’ll be office based, but you’ll also visit clients, which could involve overnight stays.

You’ll need a driving licence for most engineering technician jobs, and be able to drive a range of vehicles.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, knowledge and industry contacts, you could become self-employed.

You could become a senior technician or workshop manager, or progress to a senior sales or management position. 

You could also move into a training job as a college lecturer or technician, or take on an inspection role.

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Last updated: 22 March 2017