Agronomist

Alternative titles for this job include Crop scientist, agricultural consultant, agronomy manager

Agronomists advise farmers on soil management and crop production.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

9am to 5pm as customers demand

How to become an agronomist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • applying for a graduate training scheme
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

University

There's no set route to become an agronomist but it may be helpful to do a foundation degree or degree in:

  • agriculture
  • biology
  • ecology
  • crop and plant science
  • soil science

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could work towards this role by doing a relevant college course like a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Other routes

You could study for the BASIS Foundation Award in Agronomy if you're new to the industry and have limited crop experience and knowledge. This will give you an introduction to agronomy, crop protection and crop nutrition.

You can also apply for a graduate training scheme if you have a degree. Schemes are offered by independent consultancies or companies selling agro-chemicals, seed or fertiliser products.

More information

Career tips

It's really useful to get as much arable farming experience as possible.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Association of Independent Crop Consultants and BASIS, for professional recognition and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become an agronomist from Tasty Careers and Bright Crop.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • science skills
  • business management skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to learn through your work
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • you will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a driving licence

You'll need the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection if you're advising on or selling pesticides in the UK. This is a legal requirement.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • advising farmers on land management and how to improve their crop yields
  • studying soil, water and other factors which affect crop growth
  • creating chemical treatment plans to keep crops free of pests and weeds
  • recording information on plant growth and environmental conditions
  • carrying out field trials to solve clients' crop problems
  • keeping up to date with product developments and legislation

Working environment

You could work in an office, on a farm, at a research facility or visit sites.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You could specialise in precision farming methods or developing nutrition plans for fruit or vegetable crops.

You could also study for a postgraduate master's degree, like soil science or genetics, and become a consultant.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an agronomist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture

  • Provider: BERKSHIRE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location:

Advanced Technical Diploma in Agriculture - Level 3

  • Provider: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Milton

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