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Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Occupation Details

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Agricultural Engineering Technician

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€20k > 25 
Agricultural Engineering Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 25 
Related Information:
Entrants: 20 - 25
Data Source(s):
SOLAS

Last Updated: May, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Supports the work of engineers in a wide variety of areas, including the development and testing of new products for the farming industry, service engineering to install, repair and maintain equipment.


The Work header image

Agricultural engineering technicians repair and maintain machinery, equipment and buildings for the agricultural, horticultural, forestry and landscape industries.   
  
They work with a range of machinery, from tractors and harvesters to equipment for tree felling, extracting and processing timber, or fixed equipment such as grain stores, forage silos, greenhouses, and automatic feeding and milking installations.   
  
In the agricultural manufacturing industry, agricultural engineering technicians help to design, develop and produce equipment. Where they work in a project team, they are usually led by an agricultural engineer. They prepare plans and designs, help with field trials to test new products, make modifications and repairs and record results.   
  
Technicians write technical manuals for operating and servicing the equipment and installations, and work in technical sales and servicing.   
  
Agricultural engineering technicians may work for local machinery dealers. They supply farmers, local authorities and domestic customers with suitable machinery, as well as advice and after-sales service. In service departments, technicians repair and maintain a wide range of machinery. In stores Departments turn, order, control and Distribute spare parts.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Receive and prepare laboratory samples for analysis, following proper protocols to ensure that they will be stored, prepared, and disposed of efficiently and effectively.

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Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, or animal care.

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Plant seeds in specified areas, and count the resulting plants to determine the percentage of seeds that germinated.

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Collect samples from crops or animals so testing can be performed.

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Measure or weigh ingredients used in testing or for purposes such as animal feed.

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Prepare data summaries, reports, or analyses that include results, charts, or graphs to document research findings and results.

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Set up laboratory or field equipment, and prepare sites for testing.

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Operate laboratory equipment such as spectrometers, nitrogen determination apparatus, air samplers, centrifuges, and potential hydrogen (pH) meters to perform tests.

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Adjust testing equipment, and prepare culture media, following standard procedures.

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Examine animals and specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Biology:  Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Food Production:  Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You need to have technical ability and you must be good at solving problems. It is very important that you can diagnose faults and repair them quickly; you will need knowledge of mechanical and electrical systems, as well as hydraulics and electronics.   
  
This is an area where technology is advancing quickly, so you must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge to keep up. Technicians need the ability to read and interpret technical drawings and plans, and to explain them to others.   
  
You must be resourceful and able to act on your own initiative; you may have to repair machinery on a remote farm far away from your workshop.   
  
You also need good communication skills, to explain and demonstrate to farmers how machinery works and to discuss faults and repairs.


Entry Routesheader image

Courses are available to candidates who wish to enter this field at many of the Institutes of Technology and the Agricultural Colleges around the country. See the related CAO and PLC Course lists available on this page

Agricultural engineering is a strong sub-sector within Irish Engineering. Several Irish manufacturers of farm machinery are world leaders in their specialised niche markets. Products on offer are diverse and range from grass balers, feed systems, cattle grids to dairy equipment and machinery accessories. Some of the equipment has been specifically developed for Irish conditions, such as sugar beet and turf harvesting, but even this highly specialised machinery have found export markets. Recent product diversification has centred around developing products that help to create a green image in food production, equipment for amenity and groundcare areas, including golf course management.

The agricultural machinery sector comprises of many small companies which are owner managed, and a number of larger companies who develop integrated equipment to meet the demands for bigger machines. A list of Agricultural Machinery companies from Enterprise Ireland is available here.

Last Updated: October, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Teagasc - Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority
  Address: Head Office, Oak Park, Carlow
  Tel: (059) 917 0200
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Ballyhaise Agricultural College
  Address: Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan
  Tel: (049) 433 8108
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  Address: Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 607 2000 Lo Call 1890 200 510
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Food

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