Agriculture apprenticeship

Agriculture apprenticeship

An apprenticeship in Agriculture offers a huge range of opportunities for working on livestock or arable farms. Agriculture includes the production of primary food and managing the land for environmental and sustainable development.

The sector can be divided into a number of different categories: crops, livestock and agricultural contracting. Agricultural crops covers the production of arable crops such as cereals, vegetables, root and bulb crops. Some farmers have diversified into bio-fuels, trees and short-term coppice. Agricultural livestock includes the production of beef, sheep, pigs, poultry, dairy and other livestock, while agricultural contracting means providing services to farmers such as crop spraying, foot trimming and sheep shearing, as well as agronomy or nutritional advice.

Farms vary enormously, from hill farms with a flock of sheep, to vast mechanised arable farms that may be growing crops for bio-fuel. The main enterprise on a farm will vary according to geographical location and local markets. In recent years, advances have led to the introduction of new technology, farming methods and legislation, resulting in changes to the practices and the skills required to keep agriculture at the forefront of the economy.

As an apprentice, the nature of your work will depend on your employer. Most farm businesses are small, which means you will handle a wide range of responsibilities and develop plenty of useful skills along the way. Alternatively, working for a large company might mean you take on a more specialised role.

You might learn skills like how to prepare and cultivate sites for planting crops, operate a tractor with attachments, harvest and store crops, and maintain equipment and machines. If your employer deals with livestock, you might learn how to look after large numbers of livestock, load and unload animals for transport, and maintain the health and welfare of animals.

On the Advanced Level apprenticeship, you’ll learn more specialised skills such as how to monitor crops or livestock and promote their growth. You could also learn how to apply pesticides and manage habitats. Completion of an Advanced Level apprenticeship in Agriculture could pave the way for progression onto a Higher Apprenticeship (see below).


Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary:

£10,300–£13,000 depending on experience

Job roles:

Intermediate Level – Farm worker, Tractor driver, Assistant stock person, Hatchery worker

Advanced Level – Agriculture machinery operator, Herdsperson, Stockperson, Fieldsperson, Shepherd, Section head, Livestock technician, Hatchery supervisor/charge hand

Issuing Authority:

Lantra –