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Farm Technician Apprenticeship

Overview | Entry RequirementsHow to become an Apprentice Farm TechnicianProgramme StructureProgramme ModulesProgramme CostsMore Information


The Farm Technician Apprenticeship is for those who wish to pursue a career in the agricultural industry as a farm technician or for existing personnel in the industry who would like to gain a qualification. 

Programme Title: Farm Technician Apprenticeship
Duration: Two years
Award Title: Higher Certificate in Technical Farm Operations - NFQ level 6
Certification: Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) issues certification as the awarding body

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this apprenticeship, an applicant must:

  • Be directly employed by a SOLAS approved employer
  • Have achieved a pass in the Leaving Certificate Established (NFQ Level 5)* or Vocational Programme (NFQ Level 5)*, obtaining a minimum grade P6/H7 in Maths** or a F2 in Foundation Maths, and O6/H7 in four other subjects*


  • A Major QQI Level 5 (or higher) Award*


  • Level 6 Specific Purpose in Farming programme*


  • Anyone working in the agricultural sector, 18 years old / older with two full-time years of work experience in a land-based sector (such as farming, agricultural contracting, horticulture, forestry, aquaculture or the equine sector) deemed acceptable by the employer and consortium and subject to the validation of supporting evidence and/or assessment process.

Note - The programme is through the medium of English and it is highly desirable that the applicant will meet CEF Level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Language). Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. The Certificate of the English language standard must have been issued within 2 years of the expected start of your course. 

*A qualification deemed equivalent on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications to any qualifications listed above

** Note - Where there is a maths requirement at Leaving Certificate established or Vocational Programme, obtaining a minimum grade O6/H7 in Maths or F2 in Foundation Maths, mature and international applicants may be required to demonstrate that they possess the required competency through the completion of the maths assessment. 

How to become an Apprentice Farm Technician

Step 1: To be eligible for this apprenticeship, an applicant must:

  • Be directly employed by a SOLAS approved employer. 
  • Meet the entry requirements mentioned above.

Step 2: The approved SOLAS employer will start the registration process with SOLAS (The Further Education and Training Authority).

Step 3: Applicant's application will be assessed by Teagasc in consultation with SOLAS.

Step 4: If successful, applicant will be registered as an apprentice both with SOLAS and Teagasc.

Step 5: Apprentice will be called for induction training and off-the-job learning block release.

Programme Structure

Apprentices will be trained in a progressive manner and will get to put their skills into practice during both on and off the job training stages. On successful completion, the apprentice will be fully competent in the role of a Farm Technician.

Employers are asked to support employees throughout their learning journey by engaging and facilitating mentor one-to-ones on a regular basis. Employers will be issued with advice on this on induction.

The block release programme has been designed to minimise the impact of the apprentices absence for the employer. Block release allows for employers to plan for the apprentice’s absence throughout the off season. Attendance is compulsory and apprentices will attend classes, practicals, labs and field trips while off-the-job. Examinations will take place also in this period.

The following stages will be completed as part of the Farm Technician Apprenticeship:

Autumn / Winter Semester (Sept-Dec) 

16 days off-the-job
8 online live classes

Winter / Summer Semester (Jan-June)

24 days off-the-job
12 online live classes

Programme Modules

Year 1 / Stage 1

  • Introduction to Business & Technology of Farming
  • Health and Safety on the Farm
  • Environment and Science of Farming 
  • Quality Assurance, Regulation & Compliance
  • Farm Operation Skills & Work Routines
  • People Skills - Teamwork & Supervisory

Year 2 / Stage 2

  • Farm Administration & Business Skills
  • Lean Management & Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's)
  • Sustainable Farm Production
  • Farm Enterprise Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Farm Operation Planning & Record Keeping
  • Apprentice Project 

Programme Costs 

The cost of the apprenticeship is €1,375 per year of the programme. Associated costs such as travel and accomodation for off-the-job block release are extra

More Information

If you are interested in this apprenticeship more information is available on the  Apprenticeships website 

Potential employers can also get information in the employers section of the apprenticeships website

Teagasc Contact - Marcella Phelan (National Apprenticeship Programme Co-ordinator, Teagasc - Curriculum & Development Standards Unit

Telephone: +3535164408

Email: marcella.phelan@teagasc.ie