Tractor Driver

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

What you will 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


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of food production methods
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • the ability to work on your own (ambition/drive)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisation skills)
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • 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
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Tractor Driver, you don’t typically need specific subjects, but having a good basic education can be helpful. Tractor Drivers are responsible for operating tractors and other agricultural machinery for various farming tasks. Here’s a list of subjects and skills that can be beneficial for pursuing a career as a Tractor Driver:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for tasks such as calculating quantities, measuring land, and working with equipment specifications.
  2. English: Clear communication skills are essential for understanding instructions, filling out forms, and communicating with other workers on the farm.
  3. Science (e.g., Biology or Chemistry): A basic understanding of science, particularly related to agriculture, can be beneficial for understanding soil composition, crop types, and basic plant biology.
  4. Design and Technology: This subject can provide a foundation for understanding machinery, tools, and equipment, which is useful for operating tractors and other farm machinery.
  5. Physical Education (PE): Physical fitness is important for safely operating agricultural machinery and performing various farm tasks.
  6. Environmental Science or Geography: Familiarity with environmental issues and geographical features can be helpful, especially if the farm implements sustainable or eco-friendly practices.
  7. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Basic computer skills can be useful for using technology associated with modern farming equipment.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

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

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

You could do a general farm worker intermediate apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship usually takes 18 months to complete.

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.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typical working hours are 60-62 hours a week but these may depend on the season.

You may be expected to work on the weekend, public holidays and in the evenings.

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 & 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