1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Agricultural contractor

Agricultural contractor

Alternative titles for this job include

Agricultural contractors provide specialised, seasonal or temporary services to farmers.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

44 to 46 seasonal

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an agricultural contractor

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a course at agricultural college, which may be useful when you start looking for work. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Award in Agriculture Machine Maintenance
  • Level 2 Certificate in Agriculture

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More Information


The following apprenticeships may be relevant to this role :

  • Level 2 Countryside worker
  • Level 2 Land based service engineer
  • Level 3 Land based service engineering technician

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You could apply directly to become an agricultural contractor. Employers will usually expect you to have experience of working with farm machinery.

More Information

Career tips

Agricultural contracting can be competitive, with lots of contractors applying for the same work. It will 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.

Further information

You'll find more about working and training in agriculture from Tasty Careers and the National Land Based College.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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:

Driving other vehicles like lorries, tractors, harvesters and fork lift trucks can also be part of your work. You can find out more about driving specialist vehicles from GOV.UK.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You may specialise in areas like:

  • crop spraying and fertilising
  • harvesting
  • seed processing
  • seed milling and mixing
  • sheep shearing and dipping
  • animal management including hoof trimming
  • lambing
  • breeding

You could also carry out general work like:

  • dry stone walling
  • fencing
  • excavation
  • drainage work

Working environment

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Construction Plant Engineering Apprentice

  • Wage: £195.20 Weekly
  • Location: Newton Abbot

Apprentice Agricultural Land Based Service Technician (Wiltshire)

  • Wage: £174.00 - £328.40 Weekly
  • Location: Devizes

Courses In England

Diploma in Agriculture - Level 2

  • Provider: DCG
  • Start date: 13 September 2022
  • Location: Ilkeston

Diploma in Agriculture Level 2

  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Norwich

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.