Farm workers do all sorts of practical tasks on farms. The jobs they do depend on where they work. Some farms grow crops like wheat, oats and vegetables. Others keep animals such as cows, sheep and pigs. Some farms do a mixture of the two. The workers on crop farms plant seeds and help crops to grow. Farm workers on animal farms feed the animals and check that they are healthy. Other jobs may include cutting hedges and checking the fences and gates.
These are some of the things done by farm workers:
- Looking after animals like cows, sheep and pigs
- Working in a milking parlour where machines take the milk from cows
- Shearing the wool from sheep
- Planting crop seeds
- Helping crops to grow by spreading fertiliser or spraying chemicals on them
- Collecting crops that are ready to harvest
- Fixing gates and fences
- Keeping farm buildings and equipment in good condition
Landowners , local authorities and companies run farms that employ farm workers in The Black Country. Some families run smaller farms and these usually employ some workers. Some farm workers are self-employed and work for a number of different farms. They may do general farm work, or help in a specialist area.
Some farm workers have to be outdoors in all weathers. This can involve getting wet and muddy. Working around animals can be messy and smelly.
There are no set hours for farm workers. Most do between 35 and 40 hours a week. They may need to start early in the morning and do some work in the evenings and at weekends.
Average Salary and trends
Salary – £13,000-25,000
You do not normally need set school qualifications to become a farm worker. It’s more important to have an interest in farming.
Horticulture qualifications are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3 to help you gain access to this role.
You could also apply for an apprenticeship. If you have an EHCP you may be able to apply under the Dfe exemption which allows the apprentice to use Entry level 3 English and Maths qualifications. The apprentice would have to be competent enough to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve Entry Level 3 in English and Maths before the end of their apprenticeship.