There are several ways to become an agricultural contractor, a specialist who prepares fields and does other farm work for clients. Some people go to school for formal training, while others may learn on the job and gradually take on more responsibilities. In some nations, a license is necessary to become an agricultural contractor. Membership in professional organizations can also be helpful, although it is not required. Contracting of this nature can be physically demanding, especially during peak season when numerous farms need seeding, plowing, and other services.
One option is to attend a college or technical school to learn to become an agricultural contractor. This type of training provides information on farming practices and techniques, specifics on using equipment, and related topics. Many facilities have a clinic where people can practice their skills in the real world, and some offer internships and labor exchanges to provide more job experience opportunities. This training can help people with limited farming experience learn how to work comfortably and safely in agricultural environments.
Another way to become an agricultural contractor is through practical experience. Employees on a farm can acquire skills as they perform different tasks, and may get proficient enough to work independently as contractors. Companies that offer agricultural contracting services also take on trainees, and may accept people with limited experience for entry level positions. On the job training can be fast paced, but also allows people to start working and earning immediately as they pursue their careers. This can be a concern for people worried about the cost of school.
Some countries regulate agricultural contracting and require people to hold licenses. In these regions, after someone has become an agricultural contractor, it may be necessary to pay a fee and pass an examination. A business license can also be required for someone who intends to run a contracting firm. The specific regulations can vary by region and it may be helpful to contact a government agency or trade organization to get information.
Professional organizations can be helpful for development and other activities. Such organizations may hold conferences and publish information for their members to allow them to keep up with the industry. They can also lobby government agencies and take part in the regulatory process. Another advantage to joining such groups can be listing in an exclusive database of members. People looking for agricultural contractors may turn to a trade organization first, and can prefer contractors who are listed as full members.