Farm manager

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

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.

Working conditions

Hours

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.

Environment

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.

Travel

You will need a driving licence for most jobs.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Taking the lead
  • Using computers
  • Solving mathematical problems
  • Coming up with new ideas
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

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.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

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

Qualifications

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.