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Tractor driver

Alternative titles for this job include Agricultural machinery operator, combine harvester driver, crop sprayer

Tractor drivers operate farm machinery to plough fields, plant seeds, and spray and harvest crops.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

60 to 62 seasonal

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a tractor driver

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course to get some of the skills you need to become a tractor driver.

You could do a level 2 award in tractor driving and related occupations or in safe working in agriculture and production horticulture.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could do a general farm worker intermediate apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship usually takes 18 months to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

There is no set route to become a tractor driver so you could apply directly. 

It might be useful if you have some experience in farming and a knowledge of basic mechanics. 

More Information

Registration

  • you may need a plant card to operate some machinery

Further information

You can find out more about working in farming from Tasty Careers and Agriculture and Farming Jobs.

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 on your own
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • concentration skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • discuss work with the farm manager
  • plough fields, sow seeds and harvest crops
  • spray crops with fertilisers and pesticides
  • use tractor attachments to cut hedges and make hay bales
  • maintain equipment and carry out basic repairs

Working environment

You could work on a farm.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, cramped, noisy, physically demanding and dusty.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • become a supervisor or farm manager, agricultural contractor, or agricultural engineer 
  • be a tractor driver in different sectors such as maintaining outdoor spaces for local government
  • take further training to operate different machinery

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Farm Worker

  • Wage: £7,503.60 Annually
  • Location: SHIPLEY LANE, ALNWICK

General Farm Worker Apprentice

  • Wage: £8,580.00 Annually
  • Location: St. Mellion, Saltash

Courses In England

BTCC Tractor Driving and Basic Maintenance

  • Provider: BRIDGWATER AND TAUNTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 20 June 2024
  • Location: Bridgwater

BTCC Tractor Driving and Basic Maintenance

  • Provider: BRIDGWATER AND TAUNTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 22 June 2023
  • Location: Bridgwater

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