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Occupation Details

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Agricultural Technician

Job Zone

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 skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

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 or training 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 > 40
Agricultural Engineering Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 40
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* 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 technical work with farm machinery 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.

Videos & Interviews header image

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The Work header image

Agricultural 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 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


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.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


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


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

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

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


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


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


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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Industry Expert

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:

Farming, Horticulture & Forestry

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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 5

Dairy Herd Management
Kildalton Agricultural & Horticultural College
Agriculture - Advanced (Green Cert)
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Ballyhaise Agricultural College
Agriculture (Pig Management)
Clonakilty Agricultural College