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Description: Farm workers do agricultural work with livestock, crops or machinery. This can require technology skills.
Salary: £13000.00 to £25000.00 per year
Hours: Variable
Description: Farm managers organise the work on farms, or parts of farms, efficiently and profitably.
Salary: £20000.00 to £50000.00 per year
Hours: Variable
Description: Forestry workers work in forests and woodland, for instance planting, thinning, harvesting trees. They use heavy machinery.
Salary: £15000.00 to £27000.00
Hours: 35 to 40 per week
Description: Shepherds look after flocks of sheep, almost always outside in fields or on the hills. They look after all aspects of the flock – health and welfare, breeding lambing, feed, flock development. They maintain digital records of the flock.
Salary: £13000.00 to £25000.00 average per year
Hours: Very variable with weekends, early mornings and evening work.
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Description: A stockman takes care of the farm livestock which may be beef cattle, dairy cows, pigs, poultry, see shepherd for sheep). It can also be with lesser known stock for instance deer. A stockman also maintains records of the stock and this may be electronically.
Salary: £13000.00 to £25000.00 average per year
Hours: Very variable, and can include early mornings, evenings and weekends.
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Description: Agricultural machinery operator, combine harvester driver, crop sprayer. Tractor drivers operate farm machinery used to plough fields, plant seeds, and spray and harvest crops.
Salary: £16000.00 to £30000.00 per year
Hours: 40 to 48 per week

Farm Worker / Farm Assistant

Description: Farm workers do agricultural work with livestock, crops or machinery. This can require technology skills.
Salary: £13000.00 to £25000.00 per year
Hours: Variable

Entry Requirements

There are no set requirements, but experience and knowledge of farm work, or an agricultural qualification, will be helpful.

To work on a dairy farm you may need training or experience in handling a herd and operating milking machinery, or you could learn on the job.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Skills Required

  • practical skills
  • a willingness to work flexibly
  • Computer skills

Typical Day

Your day-to-day tasks will vary depending on the type of farm and the time of year, but may include:

  • working with animals (transporting, milking, feeding, mucking out and caring for sick or newborn livestock)
  • ploughing fields, sowing seeds, spreading fertiliser, crop spraying and harvesting
  • operating farm machinery
  • operating computers on farm machinery and databases
  • maintaining and cleaning farm buildings and machinery
  • laying and trimming hedges
  • digging and maintaining ditches
  • erecting and mending fences

You'll be supervised by the farm owner or manager, and you may supervise casual staff.

Working Hours, Patterns and Environment

Farming is seasonal and the workload varies. You'll usually work at least 39 hours a week and be expected to work paid overtime when necessary.

Early morning, evening and weekend work are all common. This is a physically active role, so you'll need a reasonable level of fitness.

You'll usually need a driving licence.

Farm work can be dirty and dusty. It may not suit you if you suffer from allergies like hay fever.

Career Path

With qualifications and experience, you could progress to supervisor or unit manager on a large farm. You may have to move between farms to gain experience and promotion.

You could also become an agricultural contractor, supplying services to several farms, servicing machinery or working in agricultural equipment and supplies.

Katrina Robb

A really rewarding industry

“It’s important to keep rural jobs going. There are not that many (farrier) apprentices being trained in Scotland, so it would be good to encourage more people to do the job.”
Katrina Robb , Farrier
Stuart Lowe

No such thing as an average day

“There’s no such thing as an average day. It can be anything from ploughing to driving in the grain or repairing dykes and fencing. That’s what keeps it interesting.”
Stuart Lowe , Agricultural Contractor