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Farm worker

Alternative titles for this job include Farm labourer

Farm workers raise livestock and use machinery to plant and harvest crops.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

46 to 48 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Farm worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a course at an agricultural college, such as:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Practical Farm Animal Care Skills
  • Level 2 Extended Certificate in Agriculture
  • Level 3 Diploma in Agriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Courses combine theory and practical skills and include units on crop production, animal husbandry and operating farm machinery.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 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, for a level 3 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 might be relevant depending on the type of farming you're interested in:

  • general farm worker intermediate apprenticeship
  • poultry worker intermediate apprenticeship
  • poultry technician advanced apprenticeship
  • livestock unit technician advanced apprenticeship

It will usually take 12 to 18 months to complete one of these apprenticeships.

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

There is no particular qualification you need to become a farm worker but it might help if you:

  • have an interest in farming
  • enjoy working outdoors
  • have experience of working on a farm from a weekend or holiday job

More Information

Career tips

It might help to have some basic skills in mechanics.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in farming and 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:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a good level of fitness

You may need a driving licence for some jobs.

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties will depend on the time of year and the type of farm you work on.

You could:

  • feed and look after farm animals
  • treat animals and crops to prevent disease
  • plough fields, sow seeds and harvest crops
  • operate and repair farm machinery like tractors, ploughs and milking machinery on dairy farms
  • maintain farm buildings
  • trim hedges, clear drains and ditches and mend fences and walls

Working environment

You could work on a farm.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, dusty and dirty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With qualifications and experience, you could:

  • supervise or manage a large farm, though you may have to move between farms to get experience or a promotion
  • work as a contractor to maintain machinery or supply services to more than one farm
  • work on agricultural equipment and supplies

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

General Farm Worker Apprentice

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually

Apprentice Poultry assistant

  • Wage: £9,984 to £17,846.40 a year Annually

Courses In England

Level 2 Diploma Agriculture

  • Start date: 12 September 2024
  • Location: Gloucester

Agriculture Level 2 Diploma

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Moreton Morrell

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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