Vacancy Information

Irrigation/Fertigation Technician


Location: Kent
Closing date: 05 Dec 2023
Reference number: SV/A1358

Job details

Salary: Competitive salary depending on skills, experience and qualifications
Contract: Permanent
Working hours: 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday plus paid overtime


We are recruiting an Irrigation/Fertigation Technician to install and maintain the various irrigation and fertigation systems we use to support our research in achieving efficient water usage in fruit production. An excellent opportunity for someone with technical experience in crop irrigation to contribute to our work to optimise economic and environmental sustainability in food production in a changing climate.

As Irrigation Technician, your key duties include:
• Being part of the team delivering irrigation system support for top and soft fruit research
• Maintain the irrigation and fertigation systems, including setting up and activation of lines, setting and adjusting timers, valves, and controllers
• Monitor systems to ensure they are functioning correctly, identifying and resolving problems
• Recommend equipment and materials to best meet project requirements
• Maintain accurate irrigation records
• Perform grading and drainage work as required

The role is physically demanding, mostly standing /walking and working outdoors in all weather conditions, and involving regular manual handling of items up to 20kg, such as equipment and bags of fertilisers. The role has regular exposure to plant material, pathogens, pollen, bees and other insects and will require occasional weekend work on site as part of a rota.


The role is based at East Malling, Maidstone ME19 6BH, with occasional visits to other sites in Kent.

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Luis Felgueiras, Farm Manager ([email protected]).

Benefits include 25 days holiday plus public holidays and 3 days off during the Christmas period, generous sick pay, attractive pension scheme, income protection, life assurance, employee discount scheme, free on-site parking and great colleagues. The core salary is based on a 37 hour working week.


Essential requirements
Ideally you will have:
• Excellent knowledge of irrigation systems and components, including pumps, rigs, controllers and sensors
• Experience in an irrigation technical role, installing, troubleshooting and repairing irrigation systems, ideally across a range of crops
• GCSE’s or equivalent qualifications/experience
• Good communication and interpersonal skills
• Basic competency in Microsoft Office eg. Outlook, Word, Excel, SharePoint
• Willing to learn new skills
• Driving licence or access to independent means of travelling, enabling occasional travel to different locations if required. Transport can be provided.

Desirable requirements
Ideally you will also have:
• Pesticide application certification (PA1 and PA6)

See full Job Description on our website for more details.

Come and join an organisation at the forefront of the application of genetics, physiology, soil science, precision agronomy and data science to improve the yield, efficiency, and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.

NIAB's East Malling site includes offices, laboratories, field and glasshouse facilities, alongside crop research, trials and commercial horticultural and arable land. The focus of research activities are in soft and top fruit production.

NIAB actively promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. As a Disability Confident Employer we have a positive approach to employing people living with a disability.


Click the ‘Apply’ button for further details and to apply directly. Any questions? Email [email protected] or call Human Resources on 01223 342282