Careers in food and fibre

Page last updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - 2:14pm

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Grow it

Careers in food and fibre - Commercial research agronomist
Commercial research agronomist

Growing crops and raising animals is the backbone of the agricultural industry. If you love plants, animals and the great outdoors then agriculture has the perfect career for you.

What sort of things will I do in a 'Grow it' career?

There is a lot more to crops and animals than you’d think!

Studying growth and new cultivation techniques, feeding and housing, providing medical care, harvesting – a busy and rewarding career awaits you in agriculture.

Let’s take closer look at some 'Grow it' careers.


A botanist studies all type of plants. In agriculture, botanists apply their plant knowledge to inform and improve crop cultivation.

A few of the day to day tasks of a botanist include:

• searching for and classifying new species of plants
• identifying plant specimens
• investigating effects of environmental factors on plant growth
• growing plants in glasshouses to assess significance of environmental and genetic variation
• studying genetics of plants using biochemical and molecular techniques in the laboratory
• preparing scientific reports and papers
• supervising and coordinating work of technical support staff
• working with other scientists to develop and improve techniques of plant cultivation.

To become a botanist you generally need to complete a Science degree, majoring in Botany, Biology or Plant Science. For these university courses you’ll need to complete year 12 ATAR pathway.

For more information see Career Harvest - Botanist

Agricultural veterinarian

An agricultural veterinarian specialises in diagnosing, treating and helping to prevent disease and injury in livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses and pigs.

Some of the day to day tasks of veterinarian include:

• examining sick and injured animals and performing diagnostic tests to identify problems
• treating animals by using drugs, surgical procedures and nursing care
• vaccinating animals to prevent disease
• certify viability of animals for breeding and performance
• giving advice about animal health and care to owners and breeders
• advising on feeding and breeding strategies to achieve maximum production
• assisting in public education programs, promoting the welfare of animals.

To become a veterinarian you need to complete a degree in Veterinary Science and register with the Veterinary Surgeons' Board of Western Australia.

Murdoch University offers the only Veterinary Science degree in Western Australia. To get into this university course you’ll need to complete the year 12 ATAR pathway.

For more information see Career Harvest - veterinarian


Jackaroos (male) and Jillaroos (female) carry out a range of activities on cattle or sheep stations.

Some of the day-to-day tasks of a Jackeroo or Jillaroo include:

• mustering livestock on horseback or motorbike
• maintaining station equipment and repairing or replacing fences, gates and yards
• caring for livestock and treating minor injuries and illness
• assisting with light household duties
• using and maintaining vehicles and heavy machinery
• assisting with farming work such as cultivation and haymaking.

To become a Jackaroo/Jillaroo, you don’t need formal qualifications; however, general farming skills and experience would be useful.

You may be able to learn these skills on the job from experienced station owner.

Another option is to complete a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification such as a certificate in Agriculture.

For more information see Career Harvest - jackaroo/jillaroo;


Where can I get more information?

If a career in agriculture working with plants and/or animals is for you find out more at the websites listed under 'External Links' on this page.