44 to 46 seasonal (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college course
You could take a course at agricultural college, which may be useful when you start looking for work. Courses include a Level 2 Award in Agriculture Machine Maintenance or a Level 2 Certificate in Agriculture.
You may need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course.
The following Apprenticeships may be relevant to this role:
Level 2 Countryside worker, Level 2 Land based service engineer and Level 3 Land based service engineering technician.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for a Level 2 apprenticeship. You'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 apprenticeship.
You could apply directly to become an agricultural contractor. Employers will usually expect you to have experience of working with farm machinery. Agricultural contracting can be competitive, with lots of contractors applying for the same work. It'ill help you to get jobs and build your business if you have a specialism that no one else in the surrounding area offers.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the National Association of Agricultural Contractors, which can help with industry training and professional development.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of food production methods
- the ability to use your initiative
- persistence and determination
- sensitivity and understanding
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to a have a Certificate of Competence, if you carry out hazardous tasks using a chainsaw. Driving other vehicles like lorries, tractors, harvesters and fork lift trucks can also be part of your work.
What you’ll do
You may specialise in areas like:
You could also carry out general work like:
- crop spraying and fertilising
seed milling and mixing
- sheep shearing and dipping
- animal management including hoof trimming, lambing and breeding
- dry stone walling
- drainage work
You could work on a farm.
Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and you'll travel often.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could move into teaching, training or consultancy.
You could also work for private companies or co-operatives that offer management services to farms.