What Is Agriculture in Australia?
Agriculture is the practice of growing and raising crops and livestock. This includes tasks such as watering, harvesting and planting crops as well as ensuring livestock is healthy and clean. It’s an exciting prospect for anyone who is seeking a career working in an outdoor environment, or who is interested in the farming process. The agriculture industry covers a broad spectrum of positions and career paths, from on-the-ground work to administrative and journalism; the agriculture industry has something for everyone.
What Are the Agriculture Job Prospects?
There are many agriculture jobs available in many areas of speciality across the agriculture spectrum. You can take part in a career in Agriculture in areas such as:
- Dairy Farmer
- Livestock production Specialist
- Crop Harvesting Specialist
- Agricultural Scientist
- Plant Geneticist
- Farm Supplier
While most of these jobs require hands on work, often in tough conditions, there are also managerial and administrative positions as well as other agricultural business related positions such as sales. There are also jobs in journalism and as a scientist in fields related to the production of livestock and produce. The salaries for agricultural jobs vary usually depending on experience and education levels of the applicant. Here are some important statistics about the Agriculture careers in Australia:
- Agricultural operators earn approximately $47,000 per year,
- Agricultural Scientists earn over $71,000 per year
- These positions are mostly located within Western Australia with 38% of all agricultural jobs, followed by New South Wales with 24%, and South Australia with 14.7%.
- 79% of the land in Queensland is used for agriculture, and 72% of New South Wales.
What Does the Agriculture Industry Look Like?
Contributing 3% to Australia’s GDP, and with more that 400,000 people employed in the sector, agriculture in Australia is looking to continue its strong growth into the coming years. With Australian livestock and produce maintaining its place as some of the best in the world, and an increasing interest from Asian countries such as Indonesia and China, as well as developed countries such as Japan and South Korea; there are plenty of opportunities. This, combined with a growing population, means more efficient methods of producing and managing large food production plants are needed. Agriculture in Australia is also predicted to grow by over 5% by 2020, signalling an extension of a crucial industry in the country.
With such a broad selection of job opportunities within the agricultural sector, it’s important to choose an agriculture course to suit your needs and desires. You may wish to pursue a career in labouring or to obtain a degree in horticulture. The range of courses rivals the range of exciting careers available.
A Certificate in Agricultural covers the basic requirements needed to enter the workforce with the confidence and skills needed to excel. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to enter the industry and there are hundreds of nationally recognised courses that introduce students to modern agricultural practices. These are often completed in just 12 or 18 months and many are available entirely online. These courses focus on teaching the simple skills necessary to clean and maintain farming equipment and additional skills such as accurate record keeping and sustainable resource usage. One of the most common qualifications is the Certificate III in Agriculture which provides a foundation of knowledge on topics such as the usage of chemicals. This is a perfect way to start you off in the agricultural industry.
If you wish to enter the workforce above entry-level positions or want to further educate yourself beyond the basics, a Diploma can offer a more in-depth analysis of and training in the agricultural industry. Courses such as the Diploma of Agriculture teach you more advanced skills such as resource development, management of property and the basics of running your own agricultural business. These courses can often be easily completed through both online and offline learning methods, offering differing levels of practical and theoretical knowledge. Such courses are also an excellent pathway to additional study at Bachelor level.
If you’re serious about a career in agriculture, a Bachelor level qualification is the highest-level undergraduate option you can obtain. Common courses include the Bachelor of Agriculture, or the Bachelor of Agricultural Studies, which provide an excellent headstart into the industry. They provide you training in advanced skills such as data mining, GPS scanning, cloud computing, livestock management, profit forecasting and more. These are highly sought after qualifications and will also teach you highly valuable ‘soft skills’ including communication, teamwork and creative problem-solving skills, crucial for a long-lasting career. These qualifications usually take 3 or 4 years to complete and produce graduates ready to make an immediate impact.
What are the Necessary Skills and Responsibilities to Work in Agriculture?
To be successful in an agricultural career, you must be willing to put in the hard work. Long hours outdoors, tough physical work and an interest in various sciences are all required. You must be capable of creative problem solving, communication with teams across large distances, and a willingness to work in tough conditions is essential. Due to the nature of the work, physical fitness is often a requirement as some careers involve hard labour. Resilience is another skill that is crucial to maintaining a long and prosperous career in agriculture.
If this sounds like you, or someone who you would like to be, stop thinking and start acting! Find your dream career now by searching our courses in agricultural studies to find the perfect fit for you.