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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 used to plough fields, plant seeds, and spray and harvest crops.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£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


You could do:

  • Level 2 Award in Tractor Driving and Related Occupations course at an agricultural college.
  • Level 2 Award 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


You could do an intermediate general farm worker apprenticeship that would give you some of the skills to do this job.

This apprenticeship typically 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 are no set entry requirements if you want to apply directly but experience in farming or dairying could be useful. A knowledge of basic mechanics might also be helpful.

More Information


  • you may need a plant card to operate some machinery

Further information

You can find out more about working in farming from Tasty Careers.

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

You could:

  • discuss work schedules with the farm manager
  • carry out equipment and machinery checks
  • input instructions into the cab’s control panels
  • plough fields and sow seeds
  • spray crops with fertilisers and pesticides
  • harvest vegetable, cereal and non-food crops
  • use baling machines to bind crops and hay ready for storage
  • maintain hedges and roadside verges with tractor cutting attachments
  • carry out basic maintenance and 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

You can take further training to operate a wider range of machinery, which will increase your job prospects.

There are opportunities to work as a tractor driver in other sectors, for example construction or in local government working in the maintenance of outdoor spaces.

With experience, you could become a supervisor, an agricultural contractor, machinery engineer or farm manager.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

L2 General Farm Worker Apprentice required, on busy, diversified Kent Farm.

  • Wage: £10,004.80 Annually

Agriculture Apprentice

  • Wage: £13,520.00 Annually

Courses In England

BTCC Tractor Driving and Basic Maintenance

  • Start date: 22 June 2023
  • Location: Bridgwater

BTCC Tractor Driving and Basic Maintenance

  • Start date: 22 June 2023
  • Location: Bridgwater

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