Are you considering looking for employment in agriculture? According to Tess Pajaron from Open Colleges, that's a smart move.
Demand for produce is predicted to rise together with world population, so the agricultural industry is bound to grow in the near future. You can find various types of careers in agriculture that will allow you to develop your skill set.
Here is a guide to help you find agricultural jobs in Australia.
Depending on the area or region, harvesting jobs are usually available in Australia. You can choose from a wide range of fruit (apples, plums, grapes, apple, mangoes, and more), as well as crops like tobacco. Generally, you can count on training on the job, so you don't need to have any prior experience.
Remember that harvesting jobs are physically demanding. You will often work in high temperatures or dusty locations. That's why being healthy and physically fit is very important. Fruit pickers usually start their day early in the morning to avoid working during the hottest part of the day, so be prepared to start your work at around 6 AM. You will need to wear sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, insect repellent and solid boots.
How do you find a harvesting job? The Australian government offers a guide that helps to find that type of work around Australia as a PDF. Inside, you'll find information about the type of available work, different Australian regions, information on when the work is available, and how to get it.
Before taking on the job, make sure that you know what it pays and whether it meets the minimum wage, how long a typical day is and how long the work will last. You should also ask whether the accommodation or food is included – that might be the case if you pick a remote location
Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOFers) is an organization that arranges work placements on organic farms all over Australia. Instead of getting paid for your work, you will be provided with food and accommodation. You will work 4 to 6 hours every day on a family farm. That could be a great start to a career in agriculture if you lack experience.
That type of work is seasonal, so it's perfect if you want to learn more about the local agriculture. To get a farm placement, you will need to join the association and express an interest in getting work.
An agricultural consultant usually advises businesses or individual farmers on the production, processing, and distribution of farm products. In that type of position, you will be collecting and analyzing data, as well as samples of produce, soil, and other factors that affect agricultural production.
Your daily tasks will be to advise farmers and farm managers on techniques for improving the production of crops and livestock, as well as an alternative agricultural options. Agricultural consultants usually possess ample knowledge about pest control, feeding programs, diseases, or animal husbandry, so that job is only open to those with prior training.
Sometimes agricultural consultants will also manage forest resources to maximise their long-term environmental, recreational, or commercial benefits for the community. They will study the propagation of forest trees, prepare plans for reafforestation and implement management procedures to cope with the effects of fire.
The industry is broad and offers anything from seasonal to year-round job with interesting career prospects.Tess Pajaron, Open Colleges
Another interesting job prospect in agriculture is tractor driver or harvest operator. Working that type of job, you will be responsible for assisting with ground preparation of produce. The most typical tasks on that position include tractor driving, basic mechanical skills, forklift driving, spraying, and harvesting. Harvest operators usually work in small teams and receive extensive on-the-job training before assuming the position.
Employers who look for tractor drivers usually require some prior experience in operating farm machinery such as large scale tractors, spray equipment, and harvesters – as well as general knowledge about large-scale cropping. Interestingly, that type of position also requires good communication skills since harvest operators need to liaise with farm managers and harvest crews on a daily basis.
If you're more of an office type, agriculture can still be an industry for you. You can find work in Australia as an Account Manager – someone who provides agronomic services to the clients of their employer, sharing their expertise in agriculture to improve these businesses.
Account Managers usually develop and foster professional relationships with a targeted group of clients for a given branch. They need to achieve given financial objectives, assist on field days, farmer meetings, inventory management, and product forecasting.
Account Managers need to know how to work effectively in a team and meaningfully engage with stakeholders and customers. They also need to be trained in providing high level customer service.
Another interesting job in the area of agriculture is sales support. Sales officers usually provide administration support to a given branch that includes managing databases, following up with creditors and debtors, processing livestock and clearing sales, maintaining safety processes, and assisting with merchandise campaign materials.
Sales officers need excellent oral and written communication skills as well, and other soft skills that are essential for sales positions.
This is an interesting job for those who are interested in hospitality. Farmstaying vacations are more popular than ever, and many farm owners look for people who could run their establishments.
Starting your journey as an agricultural tourism manager, you will be added to a team of people taking care of the farm environment. That means you will be supporting farm operations, guiding farm guests through various daily activities, and caring for farm animals. That's why customer service skills are essential in this role.
Most farm owners will provide you with training in this area, as well as anything that has to do with the practical of farm operations. As an agricultural tourism manager, you need to be passionate about agriculture and the environment. Great communication skills will lead you toward higher positions where you will manage a team of workers on farms.
Consider one of these jobs to enter Australia's dynamic field of agriculture. The industry is broad and offers anything from seasonal to year-round job with interesting career prospects.
With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator.