Tractor drivers carry out a variety of roles, including ploughing and harvesting silage.
Many tractor drivers start their careers by gaining experience of working on farms and learning to drive tractors. Tractor driving tuition should be provided by experienced tractor driving staff. To practise tractor driving on roads, drivers must be at least 17 years of age.
Qualifications and training courses can aid tractor drivers in finding employment and improving their skills. Relevant qualifications for a tractor operator include: EDEXCEL BTEC Certificates and Diplomas in Agriculture, City & Guilds Certificates and Diplomas in Agriculture, and Lantra Awards in Land Based Activities. You can learn more about learning to drive a tractor by clicking here.
Tractor operators must be able to work independently and as part of a team. Driving tractors involves sitting still for long periods. However, frequent standing, bending, lifting and carrying may be necessary, particularly when implements need to be attached to machinery.
Tractor drivers work on large and small farms. They may work early mornings, evenings and weekends, and are expected to work overtime when necessary. Jobs tend to be advertised in the local press and through recruitment agencies.
Salaries for newly appointed tractor operators start at around £13,000 a year. Experienced tractor drivers can earn up to £19,000 a year. Actual rates of pay vary, depending on employers and workplace locations. In addition to a basic salary, many tractor drivers are provided with free or low-rent accommodation.
With qualifications and experience, tractor operators can gain the skills they require to operate more complex farmyard machinery. Those employed on large farms are likely to benefit from opportunities to specialise.