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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

Tractor Driver

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

Entry Requirements

There are no set entry requirements but experience in farming or dairy could be useful. A knowledge of basic mechanics might also be helpful.

You'll need a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) car to operate some machinery. You may be able to train for this on the job or at an agricultural college.

You could get into the job through an apprenticeship.

Skills Required

  • The ability to follow instructions
  • Good timekeeping
  • Practical skills

Typical Day

  • Discussing work schedules with the farm manager
  • Carrying out equipment and machinery checks
  • Inputting instructions into the cab’s control panels
  • Ploughing fields and sowing seeds
  • Spraying crops with fertilisers and pesticides
  • Harvesting vegetable, cereal and non-food crops
  • Using baling machines to bind crops and hay ready for storage
  • Maintaining hedges and roadside verges with tractor cutting attachments
  • Carrying out basic maintenance and repairs

Working Hours, Patterns and Environment

You'll usually work between 40 and 48 hours a week. Seasonal contracts are common, with long working days during busy periods like harvest time.

The job can be physically demanding.

You'll spend a lot of time working alone. Your employer will provide safety equipment for certain jobs, like spraying.

Career Path

You can take further training to operate a wider range of machinery, which will increase your job prospects.

With experience, you could become an agricultural contractor, machinery engineer or farm manager.

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