Accessibility options | A A A | text only

Environmental and Land-based


Exotic Pet

Find out more about jobs in:

Land management and Production

Environmental industries

Animal health and welfare


Land management and Production sector...

There are a number of jobs in this sector – and different job titles are often used for example farm workers may do a specialised role such as tractor driver, calf rearer, herdsperson, sheep shearer or combine driver. Jobs include:

Agricultural Technical Advisor/Consultants

Agricultural technical advisors or consultants work with farmers giving them advice and specialist support to improve their business. They support them to improve the production and management of crops or livestock, and/or advise on technology or technical problems such as diseases in crops or livestock. They may also give advice with their business planning and cash flow budgeting.

Some work in research and development or with manufacturers of agricultural products.

Farm Managers

Farm managers run their own business or are employed by another person to manage their farm. The job varies depending on the type of farm – livestock, crops or a mixture – and any additional business that may be run from the farm such as bed and breakfast or a farm shop.  They need to make sure that the farm is sticking to legal regulations about cultivation, the environment and animal welfare as well as make a profit – keeping records and marketing, negotiating and selling produce to buyers such as supermarkets or food manufacturers.

On smaller farms, farm managers may be involved with general tasks such as feeding livestock, driving tractors and operating and repairing machinery.

Farm Workers

The job varies depending on the type of farm – livestock, crops or a mixture.

 Crop farm workers do manual work that involves planting, tending and harvesting a range of crops.  They use machinery such as tractors and combine harvesters for some crops such as wheat barley, oats and sugar beet.

Some vegetable crops such as asparagus need a lot more handling and to be handpicked. They produce crops for human and animal consumption as well as those for the production of oil and liquid fuels.

Livestock farm workers look after animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry. They may look after one type on a specialist farm or a range of livestock on a mixed farm.

They need to clean, feed, manage, monitor and handle livestock and their accommodation and equipment. Maintaining animal welfare and being aware of signs of illness is an essential part of the job and accurate records need to be kept.

Garden Centre Workers/Managers

Garden centres range from small independent stores to large chains. They sell a variety of different goods including plants and flowers, bulbs and seeds, vegetables, garden furniture, tools and electrical goods and other garden items. Some garden centres produce their own plants which they sell directly to the public – these need workers with strong horticultural skills and interests.  In small concerns an owner may both manage the retail outlet and the plan production.

Garden centre workers deal with plants from, in some retail outlets, keeping the plants on sale watered, fed, healthy and displayed well to, in others, growing the plants from seeds, cuttings or bulbs up to a saleable size.  They will also have to maintain their tools, machinery and technical equipment and make sure that the temperature, light and humidly in the greenhouses is right.

Selling and customer service skills are vital in the industry which is dependent on selling its produce.  Workers are also expected to give advice and guidance on plants and various gardening topics to customers.

Want to know more?

The information in this jobs section is a summary of what’s involved in each of the jobs and only a few jobs are highlighted to give a snapshot of this sector.

You can also use the Next Step website to find out about 100s of jobs and careers, including the ones listed above and many, many more.

Environmental industries...

There are a wide range of jobs including:

Countryside Officers/Rangers

As well as protecting and conserving the environment countryside officers and rangers promote an area of the countryside encouraging visitors and raise awareness of conservation.

The work includes practical work, such as making sure footpaths and public areas are safe, making minor repairs to fences, gates and walls and running activities, as well as management tasks, such as controlling a budget, applying for funding and recruiting and supervising staff and volunteers.

Education and Interpretation Officers

Education and interpretation officers raise awareness and promote understanding of the environment to different audiences, such as schools, colleges, business, community groups and the general public.

To do this they may run workshops, do presentations, do practical outdoor activities, produce learning materials to use in schools and colleges, and research, design, produce and distribute a range of interpretive media (ranging from live art to leaflets and display panels).

Fish Farmers

Fish farmers breed and rear fish and shellfish for sale - buyers include food retailers and production companies. They may also breed other types of fish for angling purposes or to use in ornamental pools.

They feed fish by hand or by filling automatic feeding systems, grade fish or shellfish by size and move them to bigger tanks, maintain water quality, monitor the health of fish and harvest them for sale. They may also be involved in maintenance of the business, keeping records and accounts and negotiating sales.


Gardeners may work in public and historical parks, private and botanical gardens, sports facilities or nurseries growing and looking after plants. They cut grass and hedges, dig, plant, cut back plants and weed as well and controlling pests and diseases.

They use a range of hand tools, such as forks, and mechanical equipment of all sizes. Some gardeners specialise in areas such as looking after trees and shrubs, football or cricket pitches or golf courses, indoor plants or restoring old gardens. If a garden is open to the public they may also give advice and information to visitors.


A greenkeeper maintains and cares for a golf course making sure it has a good and safe playing surface. Each of the four areas on a golf course, tees, fairways, greens and areas of rough, requires maintenance.

They mow and treat turf, renovate and maintain bunkers and other hazards such as water features, repair wear and tear caused by golfers and animals such as moles and rabbits, deal with drainage problems, water the course, cut new holes on greens, and plant and prune trees and shrubs.

Want to know more?

The information in this jobs section is a summary of what’s involved in each of the jobs and only a few jobs are highlighted to give a snapshot of this sector.

You can also use the Next Step website to find out about 100s of jobs and careers, including the ones listed above and many, many more.


Animal health and welfare...

There are a wide range of jobs including:

Animal Care Assistants

Animal care assistants care for animals under supervision. They are employed by places such as catteries or boarding kennels, zoos, safari parks, animal welfare centres, farm parks, grooming establishments and veterinary hospitals.

Responsible for the care and welfare of the animals, they clean the animals and their accommodation, feed them, check for signs of illness or distress, deal with visitors or customers, and keep records. Some welfare centres will deal with very sick or neglected animals that may require euthanasia.

Animal Physiotherapists

Animal physiotherapists work closely with vets to help to reduce pain, improve mobility and prevent the recurrence of injury in animals. They deal with problems affecting the joints of the limbs and spine and the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body.

Horses and dogs are the most common types of animal referred by vets for physiotherapy. Other animals treated include cats and some farm and zoo animals. They use a range of techniques including ultrasound, mobilization, magnetic field therapy, neuromuscular stimulation, hydrotherapy and massage as well as devise exercise programmes.

Chartered animal physiotherapists are also qualified in human physiotherapy. Many of them treat both animals and humans.

Animal Technologists

Animal technologists work in the animal technology industry which involves the husbandry, care and welfare of animals bred to be used in scientific research and the carrying out of authorised procedures in a bio-medical centre.

They are responsible for the welfare of the animals which include mainly rodents, such as mice and rats, but can also include fish, frogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats, monkeys and farm animals. They carry out regular animal health checks, clean out their accommodation, provide fresh water and food and take samples and measurements keeping records of their work.

Approximately three-and-a-half million animals are used in research each year in the UK. 80% of the animals are used for medical, dental and veterinary research, which in turn informs the development of new drugs and vaccines to improve health and quality of life. The others are used for the protection of people e.g. workers in industry.  The industry is tightly regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The Act acknowledges the necessity of using animals in research, but demands a high level of protection for them to minimise any potential suffering.

Horse Grooms

Horse grooms care for horses keeping them clean, healthy, groomed and in good condition, exercised and well fed. They also muck out the stables and keep the yard and exercise area clean, prepare horses for riding, competitions and shows and tack (putting on saddles and bridles) and untack them after riding.

Some grooms also exercise the horses or school them over obstacles. Those working in riding schools may welcome visitors and lead riders out on foot or horseback.

Veterinary nurses

Veterinary nurses work alongside veterinary surgeons providing nursing care and treatment for animal patients and providing help and advice to their owners. They work within veterinary surgeries or hospitals and can work with either domestic or exotic animals, as well as with horses and farm animals.

They hold and calm animals while a vet examines and treats them, monitor vital signs, such as temperature, heart rate and breathing rate, administer medication and prepare animals for operations and assist at operations. They also keep records and make appointments.

In-patient treatment includes feeding the animals, providing fresh bedding and water, cleaning their accommodation and designing and implementing a nursing care plan.

Want to know more?

The information in this jobs section is a summary of what’s involved in each of the jobs and only a few jobs are highlighted to give a snapshot of this sector.

You can also use the Next Step website to find out about 100s of jobs and careers, including the ones listed above and many, many more.