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Farm secretary Agricultural business administrator, rural business administrator

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Farm secretaries are responsible for the day-to-day running of the business side of farms.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £37,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths.

You’ll also need experience of office administration and knowledge of bookkeeping.

It may help if you've lived or worked on a farm. 

You could take a college course in secretarial work, business administration, bookkeeping or accounting. You could also take a short course with the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA). 
Lantra has more information about working in the farming industry.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • IT skills
  • spoken and written communication skills
  • organisational skills 
  • accuracy and attention to detail

3. What you'll do

You’ll be responsible for budgets, accounting, recording and monitoring, and other financial aspects of a farm business. 

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • using tailor-made agricultural business software
  • keeping records of livestock and crops, to help with planning future crop and stock levels
  • applying for government grants and subsidies
  • preparing farm business accounts and tax returns
  • dealing with wages and personnel records
  • costing, ordering and paying for equipment and supplies
  • typing, filing and other general administrative tasks
  • keeping up to date with farming, health and safety and tax laws

You might work full-time on a large farm or estate as a resident secretary, or you could be a freelance mobile secretary for more than one farm.

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £24,000

Experienced: £24,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £37,000

You may earn less working as a resident farm secretary, but get free living accommodation or other benefits.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Part-time or freelance work for more than one employer is more common.

You'll need your own transport if you’re a mobile farm secretary, to travel between employers.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a farm manager.

You could also move into other types of rural business, like stables or countryside management, or use your business and administrative skills in other industries. 

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Last updated: 11 September 2018