Agricultural and Forestry Scientists

ANZSCO ID 2341

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
9,500
Future Growth
1.6%
Weekly Earnings
$2,178
Full-Time Share
81%
Female Share
26%
Average age
44

Summary

Agricultural and Forestry Scientists advise farmers, rural industries and government on aspects of farming, develop techniques for increasing productivity, and study and develop plans and policies for the management of forest areas.

Tasks

  • collecting and analysing data and samples of produce, feed, soil and other factors affecting production

  • advising Farmers and Farm Managers on techniques for improving the production of crops and livestock, and alternative agricultural options

  • advising farmers on issues such as livestock and crop disease, control of pests and weeds, soil improvement, animal husbandry and feeding programs

  • studying the environmental factors affecting commercial crop production, pasture growth, animal breeding, and the growth and health of forest trees

  • studying the effects of cultivation techniques, soils, insects and plant diseases on animal, crop and forest production

  • developing procedures and techniques for solving agricultural problems and improving the efficiency of production

  • managing forest resources to maximise their long-term commercial, recreational and environmental benefits for the community

  • studying the propagation and culture of forest trees, methods for improving the growth of stock, and the effects of thinning on forest yields

  • preparing plans for reafforestation and devising efficient harvesting systems

  • investigating, planning and implementing management procedures to cope with the effects of fires, floods, droughts, soil erosion, insect pests and diseases

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
Physical Demand
  • Light
  • Medium

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
1.6%
(or 100 jobs)
From
8,500
in 2021
To
8,600
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 9,100
2012 6,300
2013 9,700
2014 6,000
2015 9,400
2016 12,800
2017 9,300
2018 10,100
2019 9,600
2020 14,200
2021 8,500
2026 8,600

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 81% of people employed as Agricultural and Forestry Scientists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than two-thirds of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,178 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,018
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,462

    Median hourly earnings are $60, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Agricultural and Forestry Scientists All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,178 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
37.8%
2
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
21.6%
3
Public Administration and Safety
13.5%
4
Education and Training
12.2%
5
Other industries
16.2%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

24.1% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

22.4% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

21.1% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

9.9% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

13.8% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

6.3% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.9% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.5% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Agricultural and Forestry Scientists All Jobs Average
NSW 24.1 31.6
VIC 22.4 25.6
QLD 21.1 20.0
SA 9.9 7.0
WA 13.8 10.8
TAS 6.3 2.0
NT 0.9 1.0
ACT 1.5 1.9


  • Around 75% of Agricultural and Forestry Scientists live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Tasmania and Western Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
44
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
26%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Agricultural and Forestry Scientists is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.

    Females make up 26% of the workforce. This is 22 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Agricultural and Forestry Scientists All Jobs Average
15-19 0.3 5.0
20-24 5.6 9.3
25-34 20.6 22.9
35-44 25.4 22.0
45-54 23.1 21.6
55-59 10.3 9.0
60-64 7.7 6.0
65 and Over 6.8 4.2
Median Age 44 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in agricultural science, or a science degree with an agriculture major is usually needed to work as an Agricultural or Forestry Scientist. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Agricultural and Forestry Scientists All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 25.2 10.1
Bachelor degree 44.6 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 12.6 11.6
Certificate III/IV 6.1 21.1
Year 12 6.0 18.1
Year 11 1.5 4.8
Year 10 and below 4.0 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Agricultural and Forestry Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 68%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 66%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 64%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 61%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 61%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 61%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 59%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 57%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 57%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 57%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 57%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 54%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 54%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 54%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 52%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.

  • 48%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 46%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 45%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 39%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 79%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 78%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 71%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 67%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 63%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 59%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 58%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 58%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 56%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 53%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 51%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 47%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 46%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 45%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 44%

    Food production

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  • 41%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 37%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 37%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 36%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 29%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 71%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 70%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 68%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 68%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 66%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 66%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 61%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 59%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 57%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 57%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 52%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 52%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 52%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 52%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 46%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 46%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 41%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 41%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 39%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 86%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 82%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 82%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 82%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 79%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 79%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 75%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 75%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 74%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 73%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 71%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 70%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 69%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 68%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 67%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 64%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 62%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 61%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 60%

    Managing payments and orders

    Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.

  • 56%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 81%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 52%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 43%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 43%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 86%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 81%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 76%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 71%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 57%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 48%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 99%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 93%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 90%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 90%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 89%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 82%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 82%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 82%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 78%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 74%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 72%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 72%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 71%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 70%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 69%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 69%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 69%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 69%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 69%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 67%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-1013.00 - Soil and Plant Scientists.


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