In Summary - Agricultural Engineer
Agricultural Engineers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Agricultural Engineer
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.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Prepare reports, sketches, working drawings, specifications, proposals, and budgets for proposed sites or systems.
- Provide advice on water quality and issues related to pollution management, river control, and ground and surface water resources.
- Design and supervise environmental and land reclamation projects in agriculture and related industries.
- Design agricultural machinery components and equipment using computer-aided design (CAD) technology.
- Discuss plans with clients, contractors, consultants, and other engineers so that they can be evaluated and necessary changes made.
- Design food processing plants and related mechanical systems.
- Plan and direct construction of rural electric-power distribution systems, and irrigation, drainage, and flood control systems for soil and water conservation.
- Supervise food processing or manufacturing plant operations.
- Design structures for crop storage, animal shelter and loading, and animal and crop processing, and supervise their construction.
- Test agricultural machinery and equipment to ensure adequate performance.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Interests - Agricultural Engineer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
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.
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
As an agricultural engineer there are a vast breadth of sectors you could work in, creating biofuels, food processing, land management, animal housing and the design and management of agricultural machinery.