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Farm Secretary Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Farm Secretary. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Farm Secretary
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Farm Secretary Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Farm secretaries are responsible for the smooth running of the business side of a farm, and assist with the large amount of paperwork involved with modern farming and rural businesses. As well as general secretarial work, responsibilities may also include:

  • keeping records and accounts of livestock and crops, in order to help farmers to make future cropping or stocking plans, and to control pests and diseases
  • preparing and completing forms for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) or the Scottish Executive (SEERAD)
  • keeping farm accounts and dealing with budgeting or VAT and tax returns
  • dealing with wages and employment records
  • arranging quotations for the purchase, hiring and maintenance of machinery and buildings.


Hours and Environment

The work is mainly office-based and involves sitting for long periods at a computer.

They may be employed full-time on one particular farm or estate as a resident secretary, or be freelance and work for more than one farm, as a mobile farm secretary.

Most resident secretaries live near to the farm, and often have a cottage or furnished flat provided with the job. They may even live-in as a member of the farmers family. They usually work a 39-hour week full-time but weekend or night work may be required.

Mobile farm secretaries need their own transport to travel between farms. They are usually self-employed so hours can vary.

Skills and Interests

To be a farm secretary you should be:

  • interested in farming and rural life
  • numerate
  • computer literate
  • able to work on your own and as part of team
  • good at spoken and written communication
  • well organised and have an eye for detail.
  • A driving licence is essential for most jobs.


Entry

You would need good secretarial skills and some knowledge of farming, as well as additional specialist training. You should be aged over 17.

You will gain professional standing as a qualified farm secretary by becoming a member of Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA). Courses leading to membership are detailed in the training section below.

There are other courses which include farm secretarial skills. Such qualifications may not be recognised by the IAgSA, but they can still lead to employment or serve as an introduction to the diploma course. These include:

BTEC First Diploma in Rural Business and Finance
BTEC National Certificate in Rural Business Administration
HND Business Management based on rural and land-based industries.

Training

Agricultural colleges offer the following IAgSA-recognised full-time courses:

  • the one-year National Certificate for Farm Secretaries - for entry, you must be aged 17 or over, with three or more GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), usually including English and mathematics, and some basic computer skills
  • the two-year National Diploma in Business and Finance for Agricultural Secretaries - you must be aged 18 or over, with four or more GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), usually including English and mathematics, and some basic computer skills.
  • IAgSa runs a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme to help members maintain and imrpove their skills throughout their career.
  • Degrees, BTEC/SQA higher national awards and foundation degrees are available in subjects such as agricultural business management or farm management.


Opportunities

Farm secretaries working in a large estate office may get the opportunity for promotion to managing the finances and day-to-day running of the business.

Self-employment is possible.

The knowledge and skills gained as a farm secretary can be used in businesses that are connected with agriculture, such as stables, seed, feed and fertiliser merchants, agricultural colleges and research establishments. A wide range of rural industries need administrators.

Annual Income

These figures are intended as a guideline only.

The starting wage for a farm secretary is around £9,500 a year.
With more experience, you could earn up to £15,000 a year.
As a successful freelance farm secretary you could earn around £20,000.

As a resident farm secretary, you may earn less money, but could have free accommodation or other benefits included in the job.

Further information

The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators
National Agricultural Centre
Stoneleigh
Kenilworth
Warwickshire
CV8 2LZ
Tel: 02476 696592
www.iagsa.co.uk

Other Useful Farm Secretary Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Farm Secretary job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Farm Secretary Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.


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