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Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

As an Agricultural Contractor you would supply farm services to farmers. This could include harvesting, crop spraying, ploughing, fertilising or it could be livestock based, you may also be required for general duties such as hedge cutting, fencing or drainage.  

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


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

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

The following local colleges offer courses in Agriculture:


You could get into this job through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in agriculture.

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

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Direct Application

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

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to have a Certificate of Competence, if you carry out hazardous tasks using a chainsaw.

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.

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.

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

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Agricultural inspector
  • Agricultural engineering technician
  • Farm worker
  • Farmer
  • Gamekeeper

Required Skills

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 human resources and employment law
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Salary Range


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