Agricultural Technicians

ANZSCO ID 3111

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
1,700
Future Growth
-4.9%
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
80%
Female Share
37%
Average age
40

Summary

Agricultural Technicians perform tests and experiments, and provide technical support to assist Agricultural Scientists in areas such as research, production, servicing and marketing.

Also known as: Agricultural Technical Officer.

Specialisations: Agriculture Laboratory Technician, Artificial Insemination Technical Officer, Dairy Technician, Field Crop Technical Officer, Herd Tester, Horticultural Technical Officer.

A formal qualification in agricultural science or technology is usually needed to work as an Agricultural Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

Tasks

  • examining topographical, physical and soil characteristics of farmland to determine its most effective use and identify nutrient deficiencies

  • assisting in developing new methods of planting, fertilising, harvesting and processing crops to achieve optimum land usage

  • identifying pathogenic micro-organisms and insects, parasites, fungi and weeds harmful to crops and livestock, and assisting in devising methods of control

  • analysing produce to set and maintain standards of quality

  • inspecting livestock to gauge the effectiveness of feed formulae

  • assisting in controlled breeding experiments to develop improved crop and livestock strains

  • arranging the supply of drugs, vaccines and other chemicals to Farmers and Farm Managers, and giving advice on their use

  • collecting and collating data for research

  • planning slaughtering, harvesting and other aspects of production processes

  • may advise producers on farming techniques and management

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
High skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
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:

  • is expected to decline
  • is likely to reach 1,900 by 2026.
  • 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
-4.9%
(or -100 jobs)
From
2,000
in 2021
To
1,900
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 900
2012 3,100
2013 1,300
2014 2,900
2015 2,300
2016 3,800
2017 1,200
2018 1,800
2019 1,900
2020 2,100
2021 2,000
2026 1,900

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 80% of people employed as Agricultural Technicians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 14 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median hourly earnings are $47, 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. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.


Industries

Main industries

1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
33.3%
2
Public Administration and Safety
33.3%
3
Manufacturing
14.3%
4
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
9.5%
5
Other industries
4.8%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

23.9% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

22.9% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

18.7% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

10.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

13.5% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

6.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.3% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

2.3% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Agricultural Technicians All Jobs Average
NSW 23.9 31.6
VIC 22.9 25.6
QLD 18.7 20.0
SA 10.6 7.0
WA 13.5 10.8
TAS 6.8 2.0
NT 1.3 1.0
ACT 2.3 1.9


  • Around 68% of Agricultural Technicians live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

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

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    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
40
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
37%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Agricultural Technicians is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 37% of the workforce. This is 11 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 Technicians All Jobs Average
15-19 2.2 5.0
20-24 9.8 9.3
25-34 26.4 22.9
35-44 20.2 22.0
45-54 20.7 21.6
55-59 11.0 9.0
60-64 6.3 6.0
65 and Over 3.5 4.2
Median Age 40 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 formal qualification in agricultural science or technology is usually needed to work as an Agricultural Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management VET training pathways.

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 Technicians All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 9.2 10.1
Bachelor degree 28.6 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 16.0 11.6
Certificate III/IV 19.9 21.1
Year 12 13.8 18.1
Year 11 3.2 4.8
Year 10 and below 9.3 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 Technicians who have strong interpersonal skills, are flexible and can provide good customer service.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

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

  • 55%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 52%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 50%

    Complex problem solving

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

  • 48%

    Active listening

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

  • 46%

    Monitoring

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

  • 45%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 43%

    Active learning

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

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 43%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 43%

    Judgment and decision making

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

  • 43%

    Learning strategies

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

  • 43%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 43%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 43%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 43%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 43%

    Time management

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

  • 43%

    Management of personnel resources

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

  • 39%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 37%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 68%

    Biology

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

  • 67%

    Computers and electronics

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

  • 66%

    Geography

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

  • 65%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 64%

    Clerical

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

  • 63%

    Chemistry

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

  • 59%

    English language

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

  • 58%

    Administration and management

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

  • 58%

    Education and training

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

  • 54%

    Personnel and human resources

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

  • 45%

    Mechanical

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

  • 43%

    Engineering and technology

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

  • 43%

    Physics

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

  • 38%

    Public safety and security

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

  • 38%

    Food production

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

  • 36%

    Communications and media

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

  • 36%

    Customer and personal service

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

  • 35%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 35%

    Law and government

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

  • 34%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 57%

    Near vision

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

  • 57%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 57%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 54%

    Problem spotting

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

  • 54%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 52%

    Inductive reasoning

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

  • 50%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 46%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 46%

    Sorting or ordering

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

  • 45%

    Colour discrimination

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

  • 43%

    Mathematics

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

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Brainstorming

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

  • 43%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 43%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 43%

    Flexibility of closure

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

  • 43%

    Originality

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

  • 43%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 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.

  • 75%

    Collecting and organising information

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

  • 74%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

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

  • 69%

    Looking for changes over time

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

  • 68%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

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

  • 67%

    Planning and prioritising work

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

  • 66%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 65%

    Thinking creatively

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

  • 65%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 61%

    Making decisions and solving problems

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

  • 61%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 60%

    Communicating within a team

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

  • 60%

    Training and teaching others

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

  • 58%

    Scheduling work and activities

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

  • 58%

    Documenting or recording information

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

  • 54%

    Making sense of information and ideas

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

  • 53%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 52%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 52%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 51%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

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

  • 48%

    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.

  • 90%

    Practical

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

  • 71%

    Analytical

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

  • 62%

    Administrative

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

  • 33%

    Enterprising

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

  • 19%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 14%

    Creative

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


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 71%

    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.

  • 67%

    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.

  • 48%

    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.

  • 48%

    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.

  • 43%

    Achievement

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

  • 38%

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 94%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 91%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 87%

    Contact with people

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

  • 84%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 82%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 82%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 81%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 80%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 79%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 78%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 78%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 77%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 76%

    Unstructured work

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

  • 75%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 74%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 73%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 72%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 71%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 70%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 70%

    Responsible for outcomes

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

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, 19-4011.01 - Agricultural Technicians.


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