Agricultural and fishing trades n.e.c. > Gamekeeper
Animal care | Environment and land
Gamekeepers manage countryside areas used for shooting and fishing.
£14,000 Starter - £25,000 Experienced
41 to 43 variable (evenings / weekends / bank holidays flexibly)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this role
You could start by doing a college course like a Level 2 Certificate in Countryside and Environment or a Level 3 Diploma in Countryside Management.
You may need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
You could get into this role through a Level 2 (intermediate) underkeeper apprenticeship.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent.
You may be able to start as an assistant or underkeeper. With further training and experience you could work your way up to become a gamekeeper.
You'll find it useful to get experience of countryside work by volunteering on an estate or park. Employers value experience of working outdoors and knowledge of the countryside. Practical skills like carpentry would also be useful.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the National Gamekeepers' Organisation for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of public safety and security
- customer service skills
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to work on your own
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be flexible and open to change
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to have a full driving licence.
You'll also need a firearms or shotgun certificate for some jobs.
What you’ll do
- plan and organise shoots and fishing parties
- hire and supervise staff like beaters, to flush out birds during shoots
- keep records of what's shot or caught and arrange the sale of game
- train and work with gun dogs
- breed game birds for release
- protect game from poachers and predators
- maintain equipment, buildings and game enclosures
- clear woodland and undergrowth
- work with the police to deal with crimes like badger digging and hare coursing
You could work in a park, in woodland or in a workshop.
Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to head keeper.
You could also become self-employed by renting the shooting rights to land, or working as a contractor.