Land-based engineering covers all aspects of the appliance of engineering and technology to the land, crop production, farming and food production.
By putting together the latest technology with the more traditional areas of engineering, those working in this exciting sector help to:
- Put the food on your table through mechanisation
- Provide the biomass and energy crops for paper, fuel and structures
- Preserve the rural and sports environment for your enjoyment
- Develop techniques and equipment to reduce our impact on the planet.
There is much talk at the moment about the “perfect storm” of food shortages, scarce water, insufficient energy resources and greenhouse gas emissions.
Land-based engineers have a direct influence on these issues by designing, building and supporting the machinery which assists crop production efficiency and water retention.
Thinking About a Career in Land-based Engineering?
There has never been a better time to consider working in the land-based engineering sector. With the coming together of climate change, scarce water, ever increasing world populations and associated food shortages, not to mention insufficient energy resources, the need for the broad range of skills embodied in traditional land-based engineers has never been more evident.
What do Land-based engineers get involved in:
- Outdoor Power Equipment used in sports turf, leisure and amenity areas
- Tractors and tillage machines
- Harvesting equipment
- Crop processing
- Animal welfare (handling and transport)
- Irrigation and drainage schemes
- Earth moving and other construction equipment
- Pioneer road and bridge construction
- Forestry machines
- Horticultural machines
- Fish farming equipment
Colleges Offering Full Time Land-based Engineering Courses
Check the Landex website this will provide you with information on where to find local or the national colleges offering full time land-based Engineering courses within the UK
For many people leaving school at aged 16, a vocational course at college is one of the many options available. Do remember that a vocational course such as the Level 3 Extended Diploma is of a similar level to three A levels and as such, can lead to progression to university. We find that many students choose a vocational course as a way of progressing to university although for many it forms an excellent step to employment.
If you are looking for a vocational course in land-based Engineering, you need to look for the following course levels and names:
Level 2 Diploma – Land-based Engineering/Agricultural Engineering
This is a course for people who enjoy practical work and, in particular, repairing machines. If you have an ambition to be a practical mechanic and would like to know about land-based machinery, then this is the course for you. This course will appeal to you if you have a particular interest in the maintenance and repair of land-based machinery. You will spend most of your time in the workshops, with classroom time kept to a minimum.
Level 3 Diplomas in Land-based Engineering/Agricultural Engineering
Depending on your previous qualifications, you could opt to study either an Extended Diploma, Diploma or Subsidiary Diploma. This exciting and very relevant technician level course is for people who are interested in engineering, have confidence in their own practical ability and wish to gain a qualification that will launch their career in service engineering at a technician level.
You may have the option of studying the diploma over a two or three year course. The three-year course includes a work placement in your middle year. This course develops practical, multi-skilled engineers who will be capable of influencing engineering in the future.
The final year of this course includes management and academic studies to prepare you for the world of work or for Higher Education.
Higher Education and University Courses in Land-based Engineering
There are a number of Universities and Higher Education establishments in the UK offering learning programmes for Land-based Engineering and technology, mechanisation for the agricultural and allied land-based sector.
Many Universities offer learning programmes in engineering, agriculture and environmental subjects and a number in Land-based Engineering or Agriculture Engineering. These include:
- Cranfield University
- Harper Adams University
- Newcastle University
- Royal Agricultural University
- Institute of Technology – Tralee, Republic of Ireland
Keep an eye out for programmes which link Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. In addition, an increasing number of universities will be introducing new programmes and modules linked to mechanisation, agricultural engineering and land-based technology subjects. Another key word you might consider is Agri-food or Agri-tech.
The attributes required for a career in the sector include:
- The ability to work as part of a team, and have good social skills but also
- The ability to work alone – often outside
- Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills
- A high level of IT literacy. Much of your work will involve computer work, both in the traditional sense but also in their use for machine diagnostics
- A love of the outdoors and in some cases, international / world travel.
Agricultural and land-based engineers have high earning potential and the potential to advance your career.
Job satisfaction is high.