Job Description:

Farmers and farm managers grow crops and raise farm animals for food production.

Job Category:
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

What you will do:

Your day-to-day tasks will depend on whether you work with animals, crops or a mixture of both.

You could:

  • make sure the farm follows health and safety standards and regulations
  • feed and check on animals, or fertilise and harvest crops
  • buy and sell animals or crops
  • set budget and production targets and keep records
  • help maintain farm equipment
    recruit, train and supervise farm workers


You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work on your own (independence)
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a farmer, specific GCSE subjects are not typically required. However, certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in farming. Here are some recommended GCSE subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Science: A strong background in biology and agriculture can be highly valuable for understanding plant and animal biology, crop production, soil science, and pest management.
  2. Mathematics: Basic mathematical skills are important for tasks like measuring land, calculating quantities of seeds or fertilizers, and managing finances related to farming.
  3. Geography: Geography can provide insights into land management, climate patterns, and geographical factors that can be important for crop selection and farming practices.
  4. Design and Technology: This subject can offer practical skills for maintaining and repairing farming equipment and machinery.
  5. Business Studies: Understanding basic business principles, including budgeting, financial management, and marketing, can be beneficial for running a successful farming operation.
  6. Environmental Science: Knowledge of environmental principles and sustainability can be valuable for adopting eco-friendly and responsible farming practices.
  7. IT/Computer Science: Familiarity with computer applications, especially those related to data management and farm record-keeping, can be beneficial for modern farming operations.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could take a degree in:

  • agriculture
  • land management
  • farm business management
  • crop and livestock production

Courses and qualifications are available at agricultural colleges and universities.

You could start your career in farming by doing a course at an agricultural college for example in the UK, a :

  • Level 2 Certificate in Land-based Activities
  • Level 3 Diploma in Agriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

This could teach you some of the skills and knowledge you might need in this job.

You could get farming experience through an apprenticeship like:

  • General Farm Worker
  • Poultry Worker
  • Poultry Technician
  • Livestock Unit Technician
  • Crop Technician

You could get management experience by working as a supervisor, unit manager or assistant manager before moving into farm management.


Working Hours and Environment:

Typical working hours are 39-41 hours a week but these could vary.

You could be expected to work on the weekend, on public holidays or in the evenings.

You could work on a farm or in an office.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into related areas, such as becoming an adviser, consultant or trainer. This includes being an adviser for the government.