Farm manager

Animals, land and environment

Career outlook for farm manager

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would run a farm as a business, so you’d plan which crops or livestock would be the most profitable. You’d manage the farm workers, control the budget, and buy and sell the farm produce.

You could work on one of three main types of farm:

  • Livestock, dealing with animals
  • Arable, growing crops
  • Mixed, producing both animals and crops

You could manage your own farm or be employed by owners or tenants of a farm to run it efficiently and profitably. You might run a whole farm or just part of it, such as a dairy unit.

You would need excellent business skills, a good head for figures and the ability to get the most out of your team.

Depending on the type of farm you worked on you would:

  • Plan how the farm will run over the coming year
  • Set budget and production targets
  • Buy and sell animals or produce
  • Keep financial records and records of livestock and/or crops
  • Recruit, train and supervise staff
  • Work with vets to monitor animals for infection and disease
  • Work with officials on areas like habitat conservation

On smaller farms, you may do practical farm work, such as looking after livestock, driving tractors and other machinery, and harvesting crops.

You’d also be expected to find and develop new activities to keep the farm profitable. So you could also have responsibility for other activities where the business has diversified. For example there may be a farm shop, horse riding facilities or accommodation for tourists. You may also be responsible for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from farming processes, as well as helping the farm adapt to potential effects from climate change.

Working conditions


Your working hours would vary depending on the time of year. At busy times you are likely to work long hours, with early morning, evening and weekend work.


The job would combine office work with time spent outside around the farm in all weather conditions. If you are involved in practical farm work, this will often be physically demanding.


You will need a driving licence for most jobs.

UK employment status





Self employed


Create a qualification route

We've found some examples of the qualifications that could help you get this job.

Discover my route

Search course options

Thinking about your future? There are lots of courses available that could interest you. Use our course search to explore course options.

Find courses

Search job opportunities

If you're looking for your new career our job search can help you. Discover interesting opportunities and decide your next steps.

Find a job

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Innovative
  • Working with numbers
  • Developing a plan
  • Delegating
  • Making decisions
  • Taking responsibility

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that's right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

Use the Skills Explorer tool

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Most farm managers also have a qualification in agriculture. Qualifications that build knowledge of legislation and regulations relevant to farming are of particular value.

Courses and qualifications are available through agricultural colleges and universities. They include HNDs and degrees in: 

  • Agriculture
  • Land management
  • Farm business management
  • Crop and livestock production

To enter a Higher National Certificate or Higher National Diploma course requires two Highers. 

To enter a degree usually requires National 5s and four or more Highers.  

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Sciences, in particular biology (required by most courses)
  • Chemistry
  • Geography

You will also need

You usually need to hold a full driving licence.

Helpful to have

Experience is the main requirement for an aspiring farm manager; gaining work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Agriculture (SVQ level 2/3) can be a helpful way to show this experience.