Employment opportunities in the agricultural sector include far more than mere farm labour. Today, the industry is heavily mechanised, large-scale, and internationally networked. Jobs range from highly technical R&D lab work to managerial positions to manual labour. The sector employs florists, tree surgeons, harvesters, industrial vehicle operators, and scores of other diverse professionals. Many ancillary companies in the UK and abroad also contribute to the field, and agricultural workers are needed at large organisations such as British Sugar, Soil Association, and even HSBC.
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Salaries range from £15-50K, but the average for the industry is about £25K. In Yorkshire and Humberside, however, salaries are particularly high, and the average earners make about £40K.
As preparation for careers in the agricultural industry, training is usually given on the job, and degrees are rarely required for entry-level positions. The majority of UK farmers were raised on farms and have long-standing family ties to the industry. But two- and four-year agricultural degrees are becoming increasingly important, especially for those pursuing farm management positions and for ranchers or farmers expecting to run profitable enterprises. Currently, rural areas such as Yorkshire, Norfolk, West Midlands, Devon, and Kent are showing the largest growth.