Tractor driver

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

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 48

Future employment

There will be 0% more Tractor driver jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll be:  

  • discussing work schedules with the farm manager
  • carrying out equipment and machinery checks
  • inputting instructions into the cab’s control panels
  • ploughing fields and sowing seeds
  • spraying crops with fertilisers and pesticides
  • harvesting vegetable, cereal and non-food crops
  • using baling machines to bind crops and hay ready for storage
  • maintaining hedges and roadside verges with tractor cutting attachments
  • carrying out basic maintenance and repairs


You could do a Level 2 Award in Tractor Driving and Related Occupations.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course


You can complete an intermediate apprenticeship in agriculture.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Other Routes

There are no set entry requirements but experience in farming or dairying could be useful. A knowledge of basic mechanics might also be helpful.

You’ll need a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card to operate some machinery. You may be able to train for this on the job or at an agricultural college.

£16,000 to £30,000

Starter salary: £16,000 to £19,000

Experienced salary: £20,000 to £25,000

These figures are a guide.

40 to 48

You’ll usually work between 40 and 48 hours a week. Seasonal contracts are common, with long working days during busy periods like harvest time.

The job can be dusty and physically demanding.

You’ll spend a lot of time working alone in the cab. Your employer will provide safety equipment for certain jobs like crop spraying.

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

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

Industry body Lantra has more information about farming careers.

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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need:

  • good timekeeping
  • the ability to follow instructions
  • practical skills 
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