Undergraduate qualifications

Agriculture and environmental sciences interest fields

How do my career interests link with this field?

Read the following statements and select the statements that apply to you. The more statements you select that apply to you, the higher your interest in this career field.

Agriculture and environmental sciences
(main motivation: environmental care and working outdoors)

  • agriculture
  • caring for the environment
  • developing sustainable resources
  • fixing things
  • life sciences
  • physical activity
  • working with animals
  • working with clothing
  • working with my hands
  • working with plants

Career fields, possible job titles and work environments

The following is a list of career areas linked to agriculture and environmental sciences, together with a description, possible job titles and work environments. Click on the career field to read more about the field, possible job titles and work environments. In addition, we provide you with an indication of which occupations are in high, higher, or highest demand according to the National List of Occupations in High Demand: 2018. These occupations are marked as follows:

High demand

Higher demand

Highest demand

Occupations that have been classified as green occupations are marked with an  .

Remember that this information is a start for you to explore options related to specific career fields - you will need to expand your research as you continue with your studies. Download the Career research document to learn more about different ways you could find information related to your career decision.


Agriculture and animal health


What is this all about?

Agricultural studies focus on how to produce, manage and market agricultural products, breed farm animals and cultivate plants. Knowledge of natural resource management and the environmental and community issues that affect agricultural production include soil, forests, wildlife and the processing of food. Animal health is a para-veterinary field and focuses on animal diseases and their control, as well as public health issues. Graduates bridge the gap between rural communities, farmers and veterinarians. Animal sciences and plant sciences are the cradles on which agricultural research, development and production are founded, whereas agricultural economics and agricultural management sciences provide the pertinent control tools. Careers in this field focus on agriculture and animal health.


Possible job titles related to agriculture and animal health

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Agriculture advisor
  • Agricultural economist
  • Agricultural laboratory technician  
  • Agriculture consultant
  • Agriculture development officer
  • Agriculture extension officer
  • Agriculture learning officer
  • Agriculture marketing specialist
  • Agricultural produce inspector
  • Agricultural research technician
  • Agricultural scientist
  • Agricultural technician
  • Animal breeder
  • Animal health technician
  • Animal scientist
  • Development officer
  • Extension officer
  • Farm manager
  • Farming scientist
  • Feedlot manager
  • Field production officer
  • Food safety consultant
  • Laboratory manager
  • Meat inspector
  • Pharmaceutical representative
  • Plant scientist
  • Research and development technician
  • Research and development manager
  • Stock farm manager


Possible work environments related to agriculture and animal health

  • Agribusiness organisations
  • Agricultural research facilities
  • Government (local, national or provincial)
  • SABS
  • Research councils (eg South African Agricultural Research Council)
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)


Find out more about careers in this field

Consumer sciences


What is this all about?

Consumer sciences focus on the study of consumer behaviour and the applied sciences in the disciplines of food, nutrition, hospitality management, consumer journalism, and clothing and textiles. The qualifications offer the student entrepreneurial and/or employment opportunities in organisations in the public or private sectors.


Possible job titles related to consumer sciences

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Consumer advisor
  • Clothing buyer and merchandiser
  • Consumer educator
  • Consumer journalist
  • Costume maker
  • Dressmaker
  • Educators (with further educational qualifications)
  • Entrepreneur
  • Events manager
  • Events planner
  • Garment maker
  • Hospitality manager
  • Hotel manager
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Researcher
  • Seamstress
  • Wardrobe assistant
  • Wardrobe coordinator


Possible work environments related to consumer sciences

  • Clothing and clothing construction companies
  • Community-based organisations
  • Food, nutrition and catering companies
  • Food processing factories
  • Research organisations
  • Research organisations related to consumer behaviour and the promotion of products
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)
  • Training institutions


Find out more about careers in this field

Environmental management


What is this all about?

A number of career opportunities have arisen as a result of sustainability concerns and managing our natural resources for future generations. The environment offers many exciting, interesting and satisfying career choices across a wide range of fields and disciplines. A career in the environmental field is rewarding because you can contribute to the maintenance and conservation of essential life systems necessary for our survival. There are two main routes you can follow: the social-environmental perspective or the scientific-environmental perspective. These two perspectives complement one another and effective environmental management combines both.


Possible job titles related to environmental management

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Environmental assessment practitioner
  • Environmental campaign coordinator
  • Environmental education manager
  • Environmental educator
  • Environmental health officer
  • Environmental impact analyst
  • Environmental liaison officer
  • Environmental manager
  • Environmental planner
  • Environmental practices inspector
  • Environmental researcher
  • Environmental science technician
  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental writer
  • Geographer
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Sustainability manager


Possible work environments related to environmental management

  • Community-based organisations
  • Environmental impact assessment and research organisations
  • Government (local, national or provincial)
  • Publishers
  • Tourism organisations


Find out more about careers in this field

Geography


What is this all about?

Geography deals with the world around us. Studying geography will help you understand why places are the way they are and what role humans, places, phenomena and processes play in continually shaping the world we live in. Of particular importance is our focus on the interaction between people and their environment in order to make sense of our world. Geography may be taken as a major in the general BSc or BA programmes, as well as the environmental management programme.


Possible job titles related to geography

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Geographer
  • Cartographer
  • Climate change analyst
  • Climatologist
  • Computer cartographer
  • Conservation scientist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental education manager
  • Environmental educator
  • Environmental impact analyst
  • Environmental manager
  • Environmental planner
  • Geographic information specialist
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Map editor
  • Map, air photo and satellite image interpreter
  • Meteorological technician
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Sustainability manager
  • Weather observer


Possible work environments related to geography

  • Government departments, provincial administrations and municipalities
  • Private industries such as travel agencies, manufacturing firms, property development corporations and communication firms
  • Private rural and urban planning firms
  • Research institutions such as the CSIR


Find out more about careers in this field

Life sciences


What is this all about?

The focus of life sciences is on biological sciences and includes the fields of botany, microbiology, physiology, zoology, biochemistry and genetics. Specialists in these fields can be found in a variety of contexts such as hospitals, food manufacturing, the pharmaceutical industry, government, research organisations and forensic investigations.


Possible job titles related to life sciences

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Animal behaviourist
  • Air pollution analyst 
  • Biochemist
  • Biological chemist
  • Biologist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • Chemistry technician
  • Clinical researcher
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Forensic analyst
  • Forensic analyst (Biology)
  • Forensic analyst (Chemistry)
  • Forensic geneticist
  • Forensic technician
  • Geneticist
  • Laboratory technician/technologist
  • Laboratory manager
  • Life science technician
  • Microbiologist
  • Molecular biologist
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Physiologist
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Quality systems manager
  • Quality specialist
  • Research and development manager
  • Researcher
  • Scientific writer
  • Sports physiologist
  • Toxicologist
  • Water quality analyst
  • Zoologist


Possible work environments related to life sciences

  • Agricultural companies
  • Breweries
  • Chemical manufacturers
  • Dairy, food and meat processing plants
  • Government departments (eg Trade and Industry, Health, Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Water Affairs and Forestry)
  • Health maintenance organisations
  • Hospitals and pathology laboratories
  • Leather manufacturers
  • Museums
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Public organisations (eg National Botanical Institute and the National Parks Board)
  • Pulp and paper processing industries
  • Regional government and councils
  • Research and development laboratories
  • Research organisations (medical, industrial, agricultural, mining)
  • SAPS


Find out more about careers in this field

Nature conservation


What is this all about?

Nature conservationists contribute to the conservation and management of protected and natural areas. The focus of the programme is on all components of the ecosystem and their response to changes in the urban and natural environment. They have an understanding of ecology, ecosystems and management to ensure biodiversity and sustainability.


Possible job titles related to nature conservation

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Conservation manager, researcher or technician
  • Conservation scientist
  • Forestry research technician
  • Nature conservationist
  • Natural resource conservationist
  • Park manager
  • Park ranger
  • Social ecologist
  • Wildlife manager
  • Veld manager


Possible work environments related to nature conservation

  • Government departments (eg Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Department of Tourism)
  • Municipalities and regional service councils
  • National Parks Board
  • Provincial authorities


Find out more about careers in this field

Ornamental horticulture


What is this all about?

Ornamental horticulture consists of floriculture and landscape horticulture. The turf industry is also considered a part of ornamental horticulture. Ornamental horticulture focuses on how to breed and grow plants, while landscape horticulture focuses on using plants in artistic and pleasing ways. They also learn the basic principles of plant science. If you love the idea of being an artist and using flowers, trees, shrubs and natural objects on your palette, then this programme of study may be right for you.


Possible job titles related to ornamental horticulture

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Crop production manager
  • Garden centre assistant or manager
  • Herbalist
  • Horticultural produce inspector
  • Horticulture consultant
  • Horticulturist
  • Hydroponics expert
  • Landscape architect
  • Ornamental horticultural farmer
  • Plant pathologist
  • Plant propagator
  • Retail nursery assistant, owner or manager
  • Turfgrass manager


Possible work environments related to ornamental horticulture

  • Agricultural companies
  • Agricultural holdings
  • Forestry and fisheries
  • Fruit, vegetable and flower farms
  • Government department (eg Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Department of Land Affairs, Department of Public Works)
  • Manufacturers of pesticides, fungicides and fertilisers
  • National Parks Board
  • Nurseries and botanical gardens
  • Pharmaceutical companies, private clinics and practices
  • Research institutes
  • Research institutions
  • Seed production companies
  • Sports clubs and public or private recreational facilities


Find out more about careers in this field

Further career information