Animals, Land and Environment

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Do you like working outdoors in the fresh air, or like the idea of working with animals? You might like working with engines or machinery, or help save the world from the impact of global warming! If this all seems wide ranging, then you will find that this career area stretches across many disciplines, abilities and areas of expertise, from science, forestry, to fishing or mechanics!

The landbased, aquaculture and environmental industry in Scotland has around 28,000 businesses and almost 152,000 employees.

What areas can I work in?

This career area is concerned with the natural world and appeals to those interested in animal care, the countryside, planting and landscaping, and the environment.     

The jobs and courses for this area are in eight sectors: agriculture, aquaculture and fishing, arboriculture and horticulture, earth studies, environmental and rural resource management, environmental services, forestry and working with animals.

What kind of companies can I work for?

What’s the job market like?

According to Lantra (the Sector Skills Council for food based and environmental businesses), advances in technology, such as automation to reduce human labour, means there is increasing demand for highly skilled staff in this industry. As well as essential skills and knowledge, for example, health and safety, literacy and numeracy, the most sought-after skills are:

In many cases, job prospects can depend on where you live, or are prepared to live, as well as on the type of work you do and your qualifications. 

Growing awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable development is also creating opportunities for younger entrants with transferable skills. Given that this industry’s workforce has an older age distribution, the sector estimates it will need up to 30,000 more people by 2020, as more workers retire. 

Facts and figures

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Career Sectors


Aquaculture and Fishing

Arboriculture and Horticulture

Earth Studies

Environmental and Rural Resource Management

Environmental Services


Work with Animals