Agriculture & Horticulture
Agriculture and horticulture are industries that are hugely in demand. So, whether you enjoy working in the great outdoors and getting up close and personal with nature, or would rather remain comfy behind a desk, there's lots of choices just waiting to be discovered.
There are many opportunities for you to get your foot in the door in order to start your agriculture or horticulture career. Whether you choose to do an apprenticeship, study at university, get straight into a full-time role, or even just get some work experience, there are lots of exciting roles available. What’s for certain is that there are lots of different routes into the agriculture and horticulture industries, so it is crucial that you understand the difference between the two:
- Horticulture focusses on smaller, enclosed plots while agriculture is done on a large scale.
- Horticulture concentrates on cultivating, marketing, technology and improvement of plants, whereas agriculture is all about cultivating plants for human consumption, as well as raising animals for food and other necessities that require plants.
In more simple terms, agriculture is farming whereas horticulture is gardening. There are many roles within agriculture – from farming and working with livestock to tending crops, land management or driving large machinery; there really is something for everyone. However, if this doesn’t sound like you and you’d rather work in management or as a skilled technician, that is also possible! The hours can be long, and there may be lots of manual work, but the industry is very rewarding.
If you choose to do go into horticulture, you could end up nurturing large-scale projects in big businesses or you could put your flourishing talents to use on domestic projects. A role in this industry could involve you cultivating plants, landscaping, grounds-keeping, floristry, and more. This is a rich industry with plenty of room to grow.
What options can I take for a career in agriculture and horticulture?
To start a career in agriculture and horticulture, the main thing that most employers will be looking for is a passion for the industry and some knowledge about the area you’d like to work in, preferably from work experience. Whether you love flowers and know every species, or you have a real passion for lambing, become the expert! Contact local employers, such as greenhouses or florists for opportunities. Or you could go to local events and speak to farmers, horticulturists and agriculturists and find out from them what you can do to pursue a career in this industry. Creating these meaningful relationships could be what gets you your first job in the agriculture and horticulture world!
Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!
To start your career in agriculture and horticulture, you could choose to do an apprenticeship. As an agriculture or horticulture apprentice, you’ll spend 20% of your week working towards a qualification, and the remaining time working full-time with an employer, all while being paid. An apprenticeship is a great idea for this industry because you’ll learn all of the ins-and-outs of operations and gain valuable work experience setting you up for a great career! Currently, apprenticeships are only available at intermediate and advanced level, but degree apprenticeships are in the pipeline. Here are some examples of apprenticeships in this blooming industry:
- Level 2 – Arborist
- Level 2 – Forest Operative
- Level 2 – Land-based Service Engineer
- Level 2 – Horticulture and Landscape Operative
- Level 2 – Sports Turf Operative
- Level 2 – Stockperson
- Level 3 – Advanced Golf Greenkeeper
- Level 3 – Crop Technician
- Level 3 – Landscape/Horticulture Supervisor
Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!
You may choose to go to university to start your career in agriculture and horticulture, your degree could lead you onto great things. You’ll be learning the theoretical knowledge behind everything in the industry and have the opportunity to choose your topics to specialise in certain areas. When you get a full-time role, you’ll then be able to apply this knowledge to your job! It’s advisable to look for a degree that contains a year in industry in order to get some great work experience and make connections to start your career. Here are some examples of agriculture and horticulture degrees available:
- Agricultural Business Management BSc (Hons)
- Agricultural Economics BSc (Hons)
- Agriculture BSc (Hons)
- Agriculture Science (Global Agriculture and Food Security) BSc (Hons)
- Environmental Management with Agriculture BSc (Hons)
- Farm Business Management BSc (Hons)
- Forestry BSc (Hons)
- Horticulture Science and Management BSc (Hons)
- Horticulture (Plant Science) BSc (Hons)
- Horticulture – Commercial BSc (Hons)
- Horticulture BSc (Hons)
- International Agriculture BSc (Hons)
Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!
If you’ve already got your degree and you want to start your career in agriculture and horticulture, you can look at graduate opportunities. This will mean that an employer will put you on a training programme to further develop your skills while you work full time! This will give you the opportunity to apply your knowledge while learning from skilled professionals. However, you may simply enter a full-time role straight away!
Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!
You can go straight into getting a job in agriculture and horticulture. Nonetheless, we would recommend that you get some work experience in this industry and make connections to be able to get your foot in the door and succeed. To do this you could set up a professional business twitter or LinkedIn (they’re both free) to get started. This is the best way to get your first-time role!
Now it’s time to begin your agriculture & horticulture search