Agriculture & Food Processing

Australia’s agriculture and food processing industry has always played an important role in our success as a nation. Bold new technologies are being introduced to improve productivity, including GPS-guided tractors, computerised irrigation systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and food packaging innovations. This is an exciting industry to be involved in, and you’ll be amazed at the career choices available to you.

Contribution to the Australian economy

Agriculture & Food Processing

Industry Value

$58.2 billion

Gross value added

People Employed


People employed in the sector

Business Trading


Businesses trading in the sector

* Statistics sourced from Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. For more information, please refer to the Statistics Explained page.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO SUCCEED. Real Skills for Real Careers

Sectors & Occupations

Agriculture and food processing touches all Australians. Plant operators, process workers, gardeners, farmers, butchers, bakers and smallgoods makers all work hard to manage our natural resources and produce the food and beverages we consume every day. Many gained their practical skills through vocational education and training (VET) courses.

Check out a sample of the most popular occupations in each sector. Click on them for more information.

Want to view courses related to this Industry?

Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Australian Apprenticeships (apprenticeships and traineeships) are an important part of VET. Gaining a VET qualification through an Australian Apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to train, study and earn an income at a variety of qualification levels in most occupations. Australian Apprenticeships combine time at work with training, and can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

Search Apprenticeship & Traineeship Courses in this Industry

Career Stories

VET delivers outstanding employment results for its graduates – watch the following stories and see for yourself. You will be amazed at the career pathways that a VET qualification can unlock for you in the agriculture and food processing industry.

Chris' Story - Video Thumbnail

Chris' Story

“It was flexible, allowing me to complete in three years instead of four. I was taught by industry leaders, and working and studying concurrently built solid knowledge and skills.”

VET Qualification: Certificate III in Horticulture (Retail Nursery)

Career: Horticulturalist

Chris Henbery had spent much of his working life as a banker in London. Immigrating to Australia a few years ago with his Australian wife and young son, Chris took the opportunity to change careers and follow his passion for horticulture. He is now a fully qualified horticulturalist employed by Gardenworld Nursery and hopes to open his own nursery in the future.

Morgan’s Story - Video Thumbnail

Morgan’s Story

“I believe life is not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. By doing an Australian Apprenticeship, you are not only earning and learning, you are creating your future.”

VET Qualification: Certificate III in Food Processing (Retail Baking – Combined); Certificate III in Food Processing (Bread)

Career: International Technical Advisor in Bakery

The journey to an Australian Apprenticeship was not straight-forward for  Morgan Clementson. By her mid twenties she had worked in a range of industries before deciding to move to a career pathway where she could eventually be her own boss – baking. Morgan is now an International Démonstrateur/Technical Advisor for Puratos in Belgium.

Alistair’s Story - Video Thumbnail

Alistair’s Story

“There is no substitute to what I learned on the farm, in the shearing sheds and in the saleyards and as a consequence I became far better prepared for managing a business”

VET Qualification: Certificate III in Agriculture

Career: Farmer / Business Owner

The sixth generation of his family to undertake a career on the land, South Australian Alistair Keller has completed an Australian School-based Apprenticeship in Agriculture. Alistair's aprenticeship saw him learn innovative farming practices. Now a business owner, his daily routine includes training cattle and sheep dogs, breeding a wide range of show poultry, cropping, shearing, judging rams or fleeces, raising sheep and working with cattle.

Skills for your Career

My Skills can help you find the right course to ignite your career in the agriculture and food processing industry. You can search for VET courses and compare information such as fees, durations, graduate satisfaction, job prospects and available subsidies.

There are a number of different ways to search for VET courses on My Skills.

Course Search

Search for keywords in course titles, such as ‘arboriculture’ or ‘retail baking’:

Local Providers

Explore Training Providers in your area:

Careers in Demand

A small number of skilled occupations are currently in shortage in the agriculture and food processing industry. These jobs are in demand across Australia, so there’s a good chance of ongoing employment when you complete your training. If you want to set yourself up for a rewarding career, check out the following jobs and the VET courses that can give you the practical skills you need to gain employment in them.

Growth Areas

Sheep, beef cattle and grain farming are the largest employing sectors in agriculture, while bakery product manufacturing and meat product manufacturing are the largest employing sectors in food processing. If you’re interested in a career in agriculture, the following VET courses are worth considering, because they can prepare you for work in areas where employment is expected to grow over the next three years.


With so much information about careers, it’s hard to know where to start or where to look.
Here are a few sites you may find useful once you’ve found the right VET course and training provider on My Skills.