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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

Forestry Worker

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

Entry Requirements

You'll find it useful to have some National 4 or 5 qualifications (or equivalent), experience of working on the land, or a qualification in forestry.

Volunteering for a woodland or wildlife charity is a good way to gain experience.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Skills Required

  • Practical skills to operate machinery
  • Hard working
  • Physically fit

Typical Day

  • Clearing undergrowth for planting
  • Planting new tree seedlings
  • Digging drainage systems
  • Thinning out densely wooded areas
  • Felling trees, stripping branches and chopping up tree trunks
  • Protecting the forest against insect pests and disease
  • Clearing footpaths and nature trails, and maintaining car parks
  • Putting up fences, gates, signs and public information notices
  • Checking and maintaining tools and equipment
  • Preventing forest fires

Working Hours, Patterns and Environment

You'll work 35 to 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday.

This is a physically demanding job. You’ll spend most of your time outdoors in the countryside in all weathers. You may need to travel between different sites.

Some of your work may be hazardous, as you’ll be using power tools while working at height.

You'll need to wear protective clothing for certain jobs and a safety harness for climbing trees.

Career Path

You could progress to senior forest worker or become a forest officer.

You could also become a forest ranger, working with wardens or conservation officers to look after wildlife.

You could become self-employed.

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