Crop Farmers plan, organise, control, coordinate and perform farming operations to grow crops.
planning and coordinating the production and marketing of crops, such as grain, cotton, sugar cane, fruit and nuts, vegetables, turf and flowers, from soil preparation to harvest taking into account environmental and market factors
selecting and planting seeds, seedlings and bulbs, and grafting new varieties to root stocks
maintaining crop production by cultivating, de-budding and pruning, and maintaining optimal growing conditions
organising and conducting farming operations, such as collecting, storing, grading and packaging produce, and organising the sale, purchase and despatch of produce
directing and overseeing general farming activities such as fertilising and pest and weed control
maintaining farm buildings, fences, equipment and water supply systems
maintaining and evaluating records of farming activities, monitoring market activity, and planning crop preparation and production to meet contract requirements and market demand
managing business capital including budgeting, taxation, debt and loan management
may select, train and supervise staff and contractors
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA 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 grow strongly
- is likely to reach 37,300 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia 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.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 78% of people employed as Crop Farmers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 12 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 52 hours per week in their main job. This is 8 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
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.
Most Crop Farmers work in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Crop Farmers||All Jobs Average|
Around 82% of Crop Farmers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
South Australia and Queensland have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Darling Downs - Maranoa
- Wide Bay
- North West (VIC)
- New England and North West
- Western Australia - Wheat Belt.
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.
Age and gender
The median age of Crop Farmers is 52 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 25% of the workforce. This is 23 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)
|Age Bracket||Crop Farmers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||18.7||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Relevant crop farming experience is usually needed to work as a Crop Farmer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in horticulture or agriculture.
- 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)
|Type of Qualification||Crop Farmers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||2.4||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||33.2||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 Crop Farmers who can communicate and connect well with others and who are reliable.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
55%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
55%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Reading work related information.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Using maths to solve problems.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
50%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
45%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
43%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
41%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
70%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
69%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
65%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
63%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
55%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
53%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
53%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
52%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
51%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
51%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
48%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Communicate by speaking.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Read and understand written information.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
50%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Write in a way that people can understand.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
See details that are far away.
43%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
76%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
73%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
70%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
70%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
66%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
66%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
64%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
63%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
61%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
61%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
60%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
59%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
56%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
55%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
53%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
52%Working with electronic equipment
Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing electronic devices and equipment.
52%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
48%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
47%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
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.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
98%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
Talk with people face-to-face.
96%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
94%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
Talk on the telephone.
Work with people in a group or team.
86%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
85%In an open vehicle or equipment
Work in an open vehicle (e.g., a tractor).
85%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
82%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
81%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
80%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
79%Outdoors, under cover
Work outdoors, under cover (e.g., in an open shed).
79%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
76%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
Work to strict deadlines.
74%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
73%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
72%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
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, 11-9013.02 - Farm and Ranch Managers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.