Agriculture, Fishing, Forestry and Conservation Career Guide

Working in the fishing, forestry, and conservation sector means you’ll be spending a lot of your time in the great outdoors, making it a fantastic and satisfying career for nature and natural science lovers. If you’re more interested in the data and long terms aspects of natural environments and animal behaviour, then there are plenty of opportunities for indoor based analytical or policy-shaping roles too. 

Given the fundamental importance of environmentally friendly approaches in today’s world, many of the specialisations in this sector are becoming more important for businesses to consider, especially when it comes to optimising renewable use, minimising carbon footprints, and considering the natural world.


Potential Roles in Agriculture, Fishing, Forestry, and Conservation

Whether it’s helping to shape and develop sustainable solutions for modern farming, or managing precious nature reserves and historic estates, working in this sector means you’ll always be closely connected to Britain’s natural environment. Career options include:

Precision Farmer
This is essentially the farming of the future. Precision farmers use current and emerging technologies to make farming more efficient, sustainable, and precise. In practice, this means working with GPS, data, and software, as well as drones and other tech to accurately measure and farmland.


Environmental engineer
This is a fascinating career for anyone interested in climate change, how population growth affects the natural environment, and the shift to renewable energies. This role usually entails a lot of travel and fieldwork, as well as the everyday application fo science and technology to solve problems.


Similar to a tree surgeon, arborists tend to work outdoors all throughout the year. This often involves a lot of travel to different sites, potentially all cross the country.


Analysing the levels of diversity and types of behaviour of the flora and fauna in ecosystems is an ecologist’s forte. This role combines the application of science in the natural world, which means ecologists often spend a lot of time outdoors in a variety of environments. Most ecologists work for environmental conservation organisations, charities, or government agencies.


Fisheries Manager
The fisheries manager is responsible for analysing and monitoring fish growth, ensuring cultivation areas and equipment are maintained, and many other tasks. They’re also responsible for staff management in most cases. If you love fishing and fish, this could be an ideal role.


An agricultural engineer takes readings in a greenhouse farm.


Salary and Career Progression

Given the diverse range of roles available in the sector, earnings can vary depending on what area you choose to specialise in. On average, those that work in the consulting space can earn in the region of £37,000, while those in the space, in general, tend to earn in the region of £40,000. 

Fisheries Managers and arborists can start off on lower salaries of around £20-25,000, but can reach top-end salaries of £40,000 or more depending on experience and branching skill sets. Adding training to your repertoire as a tree surgeon can help increase earnings, for example. 


Qualifications, Education and Experience

Having a degree in agriculture, forestry, or ecology will be very beneficial whatever career you plan on following in this sector. If you’re planning on working with animals, then life science or veterinary qualifications could also be important. 

As there are many practical and hands-on roles in this sector, as well as the more academic-based possibilities, the following qualifications in their respective fields may also be essential:

  • HNC
  • BTEC
  • City & Guilds National Certificates



Soft and hard skills that are useful for the sector

These skills are generally desirable for most roles in this sector. Keep in mind that even more data-based or science-focused roles often involve a lot of fieldwork. 

  • Good communication
  • Team working
  • Data analysis
  • Problem-solving
  • Physical fitness
  • Time management
  • Adaptability
  • Technological aptitude


Working Hours

Working hours in this sector can be very extreme, and often outside of sociable hours. Farmer’s, for example, will have early starts, and running a farm often means downtime can be at a premium. Tree surgeons and arborists tend to also work early mornings. Fieldwork for more academic or science-based roles could mean extended hours as well. That said, some of the roles in this sector can offer some degree of flexibility as a result – especially for contractors and freelancers. 

An aerial view of the sea and waves on a sandy beach.


Notable Locations

Many roles in this sector will involve a lot of travel, often into more remote locations.  This can mean location becomes less relevant than in other jobs. Areas with a large or diverse natural environment like Dorset or the Lake District are some examples of areas that attract many opportunities in this sector. That said, there are also opportunities at agencies, environmental companies, and government bodies based in major cities like London. 


Notable Companies

Some of the most recognised companies in this sector are:

  • Jonh Deere
  • AB Agri
  • British Sugar
  • Environmental Resource Management
  • Forestry Commission
  • Animal & Plant Health Agency
  • Natural England


Next Steps

If you’re already looking for roles in this sector, then sign up with JobLookup today, and get up to date agriculture, fishing, forestry and conservation job alerts straight to your inbox. 

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