Occupational profile - agriculture
Information on the types of job roles you may undertake during or following completion of your apprenticeship in the agriculture industry.
Level 2 apprenticeship
Farm workers are employed to carry out work on arable and/or livestock farms, such as sheep, dairy or beef farms. The type of work they do varies from season to season and involves planting, tending and harvesting a range of crops and may involve maintaining the health and welfare of livestock.
A tractor driver will undertake a variety of different jobs including ploughing, drilling, harvesting silage or cleaning out cattle sheds. They may work on an individual arable/livestock farm or for an agricultural contractor.
A stock person is responsible for the livestock on a farm. This will include ensuring they are fed and watered and looked after to meet health and welfare requirements as well as growth targets.
A pig technician will have skills in carrying out specialist services on the pig farm. These may include applying treatments and vaccinations, detecting and identifying pigs on heat, artificial insemination of sows and gilts (female pigs), and pregnancy diagnosis through scanning.
Hatchery staff may work with various types of poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. They will deal with areas such as animal welfare, egg quality and handling and machine operation ensuring aspects such as the incubation needs are met.
Level 3 apprenticeship
Agricultural machinery operator
An Agricultural Machinery Operator is involved with the harvesting of crops on a farm, which could be cereals, grass or vegetables as well as the operation of other agricultural machinery. The role will include the operation, maintenance and cleaning of the combine or machinery and basic repairs.
Assistant herds person
An assistant herds person is expected to monitor livestock during lactation and assist in the planning of the unit. It will also include ensuring livestock are maintained in line with health and welfare requirements and are meeting production targets.
There are many variations of a livestock technician, but most offer specialist services to the dairy and beef farms, as well as sheep farms. These may include cattle foot trimming, artificial insemination of female cattle and ewes, and pregnancy diagnosis through scanning.
Hatchery supervisor/charge hand (poultry)
Hatchery supervisors lead a team of staff working with various types of poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. They ensure that the team deal with areas such as animal welfare, egg quality, handling and machine operation ensuring aspects such as the incubation parameters are adhered to.
A shepherd is responsible for the management of the sheep on a farm. This will mean responsibility for health, welfare, and the performance of the sheep flock. Depending on the size of the enterprise, they may also have responsibility for staff, such as farm workers, lambers and lambing assistants.