Agriculture is big business. Pick the right role – either working directly within agriculture or in a range of supporting services – and you stand to earn a very good salary.
Here are a few of the highest paying jobs in agriculture and what they involve.
Agricultural engineers design machines and equipment to be used on farms. They use their scientific expertise to make farming operations more efficient.
Working as an agricultural engineer, you might design farm buildings. Or work to improve the way water is used around the farm. Or assess the environmental impact of different agricultural production methods.
To get into this kind of role, you need to get a degree in engineering, ideally agricultural or biological engineering.
Salary: Engineers can expect to earn around $50,000 to $65,000 as a graduate, with salaries rising into six figures as they progress into more senior roles.
An agronomist spends their day advising farmers on how to best manage their land and improve their crop yields.
They understand the effect soil, water and chemical treatments have upon crops. And they’re able to carry out trials to solve their clients’ crop problems.
There are a number of different routes to take if you want to become an agronomist. But most people study a degree or a college course in farming.
Salary: The average agronomist’s salary stands at around $90,000.
Agricultural Food Scientist
Agricultural food scientists find ways to improve the productivity, quality and safety of crops and farm animals.
They strive to create new and improved food products. They also find ways to better package, preserve and deliver farm produce.
Food scientists usually study at degree level before specialising in a particular area of the field.
Salary: Food scientists earn, on average, around $60,000 plus.
Livestock farmers require the regular support of a veterinarian.
A typical day will involve diagnosing illnesses, performing routine tests and advising farmers on how to keep their animals healthy. The busiest time of year is usually calving and lambing season, when you may be called upon any time of the day or night!
To become a veterinarian you need to study at degree level. But you can also gain experience in the field by working as a veterinary assistant.
Salary: On average, vets earn around $75,000 per year.
A winemaker oversees the process of winemaking, from vine to bottle.
They’re responsible for tending to the vines during growing and harvest seasons, and understanding which varieties of grapes are best suited to each particular soil and climate.
A winemaker also decides when grapes should be harvested, which has a big effect on how the finished wine tastes.
The path to becoming a winemaker is varied. Some people work on wineries to gain experience. Others study online viticulture courses or programs at colleges and universities.
Salary: An assistant winemaker can expect to earn around $60,000. Salaries for top jobs in this field are closer to $200,000.
Farm managers oversee farm operations. The tasks this involves will depend upon the size of the farm in question.
You might hire, train and manage farmworkers. You might also oversee planting and harvesting processes.
Managing workers, farm processes, marketing, administration, finance – this could all fall under the responsibility of a farm manager.
So how do you become a farm manager? Some people start out as a farmworker and move up the ranks. Others complement that experience with agriculture and farm management online courses.
Salary: A farm manager with a reasonable level of experience can expect to earn around $65,000.
Agricultural Sales Representative
Working in agricultural sales, you’ll spend your days travelling to farms to promote agricultural products. That might be fertiliser, feed or even heavy machinery.
You’ll understand the agriculture sector and your products inside out. This will help you to make the best possible recommendations to your clients.
Agricultural sales representatives have lots of technical knowledge. But they have great communication skills too. They are able to build excellent relationships with each and every farmer they meet.
Salary: Agricultural sales representatives can expect a starting salary of around $55,000, with salaries of $100,000 and more for those with greater levels of experience.
Plant breeder / geneticist
Plant breeders/geneticists work to improve the quality of different agricultural and horticultural crops. They create new varieties of plants and work out how to develop disease resistance and drought tolerance.
You’ll often work in a lab, conducting and recording your scientific projects. And then selecting the best plant varieties for farmers to use.
This career requires degree-level education. You might choose to study agriculture, biology, genetics or plant science.
Salary: On average, plant breeders earn around $76,000 per year.
If you’re interested in exploring agricultural careers, why not enrol on one of our agriculture courses online? From agronomy to livestock management to organic farming, a Learning Online course will give you the skills you need to take your career to the next level.