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Land-based engineer: job description

Land-based engineer: job description

Land-based engineers generate solutions to engineering problems within the fields of forestry, horticulture, agriculture, food processing and the environment.
Land-based engineers may deal with any aspect of technology and engineering to do with land, water and agriculture.

What does a land-based engineer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Land-based engineers combine their technical ability with scientific knowledge to solve problems.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • designing and testing agricultural equipment including sprayers and ploughs
  • designing and producing agricultural vehicles such as harvesters, tractors and loaders
  • providing advice about soil conservation methods
  • undertaking environmental impact assessments to determine the effect developments would have on the environment
  • producing designs for and managing the construction of farm buildings
  • working in emergency situations to restore water or electricity supplies following natural or human disasters
  • designing, planning and overseeing the construction of irrigation and drainage systems
  • writing and presenting reports
  • carrying out relevant research
  • giving technical support to customers and dealers
  • providing consultancy services

Typical employers of land-based engineers

  • Machinery dealerships
  • Machinery manufacturers
  • Government departments
  • Universities
  • Agricultural or environmental consultancies.

Vacancies are advertised online, by careers services and specialist recruitment agencies, in local/national newspapers and publications including Farmers’ Weekly, Farmers Guardian, The Engineer and Engineering, plus their respective websites. There are sometimes openings for work overseas, although substantial relevant experience may be necessary and some vacancies are only temporary.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this profession for both graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need a degree in a relevant subject such as environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or electronic engineering. A list of accredited courses is available on the Engineering Council’s website.

If you are aiming to work in a technician role, it is possible to enter the profession with a higher national diploma (HND) or an advanced or higher apprenticeship in an appropriate subject such as land-based engineering. To find out more about getting into engineering via a school leaver route, visit the engineering section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Practical skills and experience are equally as important as academic qualifications. Relevant experience is beneficial and can be gained via placements, vacation work and gap years.

Achieving chartered (CEng) status with the Engineering Council can help to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your field. To become chartered, you will need an accredited bachelors degree with honours in engineering or technology, plus an appropriate masters degree (MEng) or doctorate (EngD) accredited by a professional engineering institution such as the the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE). You will also be eligible with an integrated MSc. To find out more, take a look at our guide to chartership.

Key skills for land-based engineers

  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Ingenuity
  • Good communication skills
  • Technical skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • IT skills
  • Ability to work well within a team

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