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Environment,Plants and Animal care

Ways in

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Jobs in the land management and production sector

Agricultural Technical Advisor/Consultants

  • Most need a degree in agriculture or a related science – such as animal nutrition, animal science, biological science, crop science, and horticulture and soil science. Entry to a degree course requires at least two A levels, normally including chemistry and maths, or another science subject. Alternative equivalent qualifications may be accepted. The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies may be useful for this area of work.
  • A postgraduate degree in a specialist subject, such as animal production, soil science, seed and crop technology or poultry science, could be helpful.
  • Experience of farm work or horticulture is normally required, along with a sound knowledge of farm management.

Farm Managers

Although there are no set requirements, most farm managers have a qualification in agriculture or a related subject, and usually several years' practical experience.

There are a range of qualifications available at different levels including:

  • Diploma in environmental and land-based studies
  • Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in agriculture
  • Higher National diploma/Certificate (HND/HNC) or a foundation degree in agriculture or a related subject, for which applicants usually need a minimum of three to four GCSEs (A*-C) plus one A level or equivalent qualifications
  • a degree in agriculture or a related subject, for which applicants usually need at least two A level grades, with chemistry and biology often required or preferred, plus five GCSEs (A*-C) or equivalent qualifications
  • Fertiliser Advisors Certification and Training Scheme (FACTS).
  • Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeships are available in Agriculture, with pathways in crop production and mixed farming.

Farm Workers

Although farm workers do not need any particular qualifications it helps to have an interest in farming and in using agricultural machinery. There are a range of qualifications on offer at different levels which can develop your skills and demonstrate your interests including:

  • Diploma in environmental and land-based studies – available in some areas from Year 10 and/or as a post-16 course
  • Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeships are available in Agriculture, with pathways in crop production and mixed farming.
  • Agricultural colleges run a wide range of relevant full-time courses that can be taken prior to starting work. These may include qualifications such as:
    • BTEC First Certificate and Diploma in agriculture
    • BTEC National Award, Certificate and Diploma in agriculture
    • Level 1, 2 and 3 Awards, Certificates and Diplomas in work-based agriculture.

Garden Centre Managers/workers

There are no formal entry requirements, for garden centre workers but some employers ask for GCSEs (A*-C), especially in science subjects, or a BTEC First Diploma in horticulture. Manager sometimes start as garden centre workers and work their way up into management. To begin a career directly as a manager, a higher education qualification and practical experience are usually required.

Customer service experience and skills are also important and some employers may look for this type of previous experience or qualifications in retail and/or sales.

An Apprenticeships and an Advanced Apprenticeship are available in Horticulture, sports turf, and landscaping, parks, gardens and green space.

The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies may be useful for this area of work.

Full- and part-time courses are available at many colleges. These provide theory and practical experience and give a good grounding in horticulture qualifications include:

  • BTEC National Award, Certificate and Diploma in horticulture
  • Levels 1, 2 and 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in work-based horticulture
  • Lantra Awards Level 3 Diploma in retail knowledge (garden retail)
  • Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture, RHS Level 3 Advanced Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture.
  • There are Higher National Diplomas (HND), foundation degrees and degrees in horticulture many of which allow you to specialise in areas such as crop production. As a guide, minimum requirements for entry onto a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma course are normally one A level and three to four GCSEs (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications. For degrees normally 2 A levels plus five GCSEs (A*-C) or equivalent qualifications.


Environmental Jobs

Countryside Officers/Rangers 

Most countryside officers or ranges have a degree or HND although there are no set academic requirements for entry into this career. Work experience is vital and most applicants gain this by doing voluntary work. 

There are a wide range of degree subjects relevant to conservation work, including rural resource management, countryside management, rural environmental management, conservation and environmental studies.

Other appropriate subjects include geography, life sciences, ecology, environmental science and geology. Entry requirements for degrees are usually at least two A levels and five GCSEs (A*-C) or equivalent qualifications.

Other qualifications that may be useful include:

  • HNC/HND in environmental conservation
  • BTEC Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in countryside management.
  • The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies

An Apprenticeships and an Advanced Apprenticeship are also available in Environmental Conservation.

Education and Interpretation Officers

Most entrants have a degree as well as commitment, enthusiasm and practical skills.  Related degree subjects include countryside management, biological sciences, earth sciences, geography or environmental sciences. A teaching certificate may also be useful.

Entry may also be possible with a relevant Higher National Diploma (HND) or foundation degree in one of the subjects above. Most jobs require hands-on practical experience, either gained from a structured volunteer opportunity or a specific on the job training programme such as LEMUR (http://www.projectlemur.org/) It can often take around nine months full time on a good training scheme to gain the experience needed.

The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies may also be a useful qualification to have prior to entry to further education or training.

Apprenticeships and an Advanced Apprenticeships are also available in Environmental Conservation.

As this role may involve travelling to various locations, a driving licence may be useful.

Fish Farmers

There are no set academic requirements, but some employers ask for GCSEs (grades A*-C). For management you may need a qualification such as:

  • a degree in aquaculture and fishery management
  • Level 3 BTEC National Award, Certificate or Diploma in fish management
  • Level 2 BTEC First Certificate or Diploma in fish husbandry.

The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies may also be useful for this type of work.

The Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) also offers qualifications usually taken by those working in fish farming:

  • Certificate in Fisheries Management
  • Diploma in Fisheries Management

An Apprenticeships and an Advanced Apprenticeship are available in Horticulture, sports turf, and landscaping, parks, gardens and green space.

An Apprenticeship and an Advanced Apprenticeship are available in Animal Care and welfare, zoos and wildlife establishments, dog grooming, pet care and retail and animal training

Gardeners

Many people also enter through an Apprenticeship.  Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships are available with pathways in Horticulture, sports turf, and landscaping, parks, gardens and green space.

No specific academic qualifications are required; however a real interest in gardening and some experience would be an advantage.

Relevant qualifications include:

  • BTEC National Award, Certificate or Diploma in horticulture
  • Levels 1, 2 and 3 Award, Certificate or Diploma in work-based horticulture
  • Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture
  • Foundation degree or degree in horticulture or landscape and amenity management.

 Greenkeepers

There are no set academic requirements but experience in horticulture or agriculture and a good understanding of golf may be an advantage.

A range of related qualifications are available:

  • BTEC National Awards, Certificates, Diplomas in horticulture
  • Level 2 Certificate in sports and amenity turf maintenance
  • NPTC Level 3 Award in managing sports turf areas
  • foundation degrees and degrees in subjects such as sports turf, turf grass science and golf course management
  • Masters degree in sports turf technology.

Entry requirements for degrees are usually a minimum of two A levels and five GCSEs (A*-C), or the equivalent. Entry to a foundation degree is usually with a minimum of one A level or equivalent.

It may also be possible to enter this career through an Apprenticeship. Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships are available with pathways in Horticulture, sports turf, and landscaping, parks, gardens and green space


Work with Animals

Animal Care Assistants

There are no set academic requirements to become an animal care assistant, although some employers do ask for qualifications such as GCSE's (grades A*-C) or their equivalent.

 A genuine concern and real enthusiasm for the welfare of animals is essential and previous experience of working with animals is valuable, either in paid employment or as a volunteer. It may be possible to enter this career through an Apprenticeship in animal care.

There are a number of related courses including:

  • BTEC National Award, Certificate and Diploma in animal management
  • Levels 1, 2 and 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in work-based animal care.

Animal Physiotherapists

There are two routes to qualifying as an animal physiotherapist – you can:

  • train directly as an animal physiotherapist, or
  • first becoming fully qualified in human physiotherapy, including membership of the CSP and registration with the Health Professions Council, followed by further training.

Two animal physiotherapy training courses are open to applicants who are not qualified in human physiotherapy:

  • The National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists (NAVP) with Harper-Adams University College offers a two-year part time Postgraduate Diploma in veterinary physiotherapy. Entry is usually with an animal or health related degree (2.1 or above) and extensive experience with animals.
  • The College of Animal Physiotherapy course, based at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is open to people with a good understanding of the animals they are to work with. It is part time and takes between one and two years, consisting of distance-learning, practical placements, therapy-related lectures and a research project.

Qualification in human physiotherapy requires a degree in physiotherapy. The minimum entry requirements are normally three A levels including a biological science and at least five GCSEs (A*-C) in one sitting, including maths, English and science subjects. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted, either on their own or in combination with A levels. Entry is very competitive and, in practice, applicants usually need higher than this minimum. Relevant work experience is also essential.

Once qualified in human physiotherapy, those who wish to become chartered animal physiotherapists must take a part-time course leading to an MSc or Postgraduate Diploma in veterinary physiotherapy offered by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in Hertfordshire or by the University of West of England in Gloucester.

Animal Technologists

Employers usually ask for GCSE maths, English and one or more science subjects (grade C and above). Post ‘AS’, ‘A2’, graduate and post-graduate entry is common. However, graduates from pharmacology, physiology, toxicology and pathology courses increasingly tend to fill animal technology positions.

Experience of caring for animals, either paid or voluntary, is useful and employers are also looking for a genuine interest in animal care and welfare

Horse Grooms

Interest in and enthusiasm for working with horses is very important as is experience of working with horses, as a volunteer or from work experience. It may be possible to train through an Apprenticeship and an Apprenticeship and an Advanced Apprenticeship are available in Equine.

Qualifications can be helpful, although not essential. Related qualifications include:

  • BTEC First Certificate and Diploma in horse care
  • City& Guilds/NPTC Level 1 Certificate in equine skills and Level 2 National Certificate in horse care
  • BHS Stage 1 and 2 in Horse Knowledge and Care
  • Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) Preliminary Horse Care and Riding Certificate or Groom's Certificate
  • British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST) Certificates in horse care.
  • The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies may be relevant for this area of work.

 Veterinary nurses 

Many nurse train on an RCVS-approved training scheme which includes on-the-job training and attendance at an RCVS-approved college.(listed on the RCVS website) This route is often delivered as a Apprenticeship.

Applicants to an RCVS-approved training scheme must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • have a minimum of five GCSEs (grades A*-C), including English, maths and a science, or equivalent qualifications.
  • 

More Information?

For more information about the courses on offer locally for 14-19 year olds - why not check out your local area prospectus?

Walsall - www.choosewalsall.com/home.aspx

Wolverhampton - www.area-prospectus.com

For courses in higher education check out the UCAS website - www.ucas.com

For Apprenticeships check out vacancies on the National Apprenticeship site - www.apprenticeships.org.uk