An apprenticeship is a means to make a living off the land

Agriculture, environmental and animal care careers will put you at the forefront of supplying the country with food, producing crops, enriching the rural and urban environment, and protecting its natural heritage.

Careers in this sector can be broken down into three major categories: land management and production, animal health and welfare, and environmental industries. It’s not just about muddy wellies, unsocial working hours and manual labour either. There are a wide variety of jobs in the sector, and while many of them are practical, requiring physical effort and work outdoors, there are also opportunities for people to work as skilled technicians, managers and other specialist roles.

Roles include general farm workers, gardeners, fencing contractors, tree surgeons and gamekeepers. There are also creative occupations available, such as floristry, as well as caring jobs that include working for animal welfare charities, as a veterinary nurse, or at a kennels or cattery. In addition, there are more technical roles on offer, such as land-based engineering, and many management opportunities.

The apprenticeships in this section cover 36 different disciplines, from environmental conservation to veterinary nursing. New for 2018 is the abattoir worker apprenticeship, which teaches empathy and and respect for animals during the slaughter process. Or you could take a look at the metal recycling general operative apprenticeship, also new for this year, which will train you in the intricacies of metal recycling, at a time when environmental work is rapidly increasing in importance.

All of the apprenticeships in this sector offer the chance to develop skills in practical, technical and specialised areas with opportunities for career progression. And if you’ve always wanted to be your own boss, then this could be a good place to start.

Interests and skills

Consider a career in agriculture, environmental and animal care if you enjoy the outdoors and the natural world. Jobs can have scientific elements, as well as hands-on aspects, meaning theoretical and practical people could find something for them.

School subjects

The school subjects that may prepare you for an apprenticeship in agriculture, environmental and animal care include:

  • Science
  • PE
  • Business studies
  • Geography
Further reading

To find out more about apprenticeships in agriculture, environmental and animal care, visit: gov.uk/education/apprenticeships-traineeships-and-internships