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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 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 or 3 Award in Land Based Technology
  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Agriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


The following apprenticeships may be relevant to this role:

  • countryside worker intermediate apprenticeship
  • land based service engineer intermediate apprenticeship
  • land based service engineering technician advanced apprenticeship

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. They 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 Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • 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
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • the ability to motivate and manage staff
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

Driving 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

Depending on your area of work specialism you could:

  • process, mill and mix seeds
  • spray and fertilise crops
  • harvest crops
  • help with animal husbandry like breeding calves and delivering lambs
  • trim hooves or shear and dip sheep
  • maintain and create new dry stone walling
  • erect fencing
  • do excavation or 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

Apprentice Biogas Plant Operator

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually

Specialist vehicle engineering apprentice

  • Wage: £13,312 to £23,795.20 a year Annually
  • Location: Orton Southgate, Southgate Way, Peterborough

Courses In England

T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Leyton

T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: DURHAM

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