How to become a Farmer

Farmers and farm managers undertake farming operations to raise livestock and cultivate crops, fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products. A farmer is a self-employed person who farms their own land or a leasehold property rented from a landowner. A farm manager is an employee who is paid a salary to manage a farm or group of farms. Farmers and farm managers may specialise in enterprises such as cropping or horticulture. Others work with animals such as beef or dairy cattle, sheep, pigs or poultry. Many farmers and farm managers conduct mixed farming operations.

Personal requirements of a Farmer

  • Good at planning
  • Able to analyse and solve problems
  • Good organisational and supervisory skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Responsible approach and attitude
  • Enjoy working outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • Able to work both in a team and with limited social contact
  • Able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Aptitude for working with computers
  • Able to work independently

Education & Training for a Farmer

You can work as a farmer or farm manager without formal qualifications, although skills in farm management, crop management and/or animal husbandry are considered essential. You may learn these skills from an experienced farmer or farm manager on a working farm or formally at an educational institution such as a TAFE, university or an agricultural college. Courses may focus on specific areas of agriculture or all aspects of farm management. You may like to consider a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a farmer or farm manager through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. Alternatively, you can become a farmer or farm manager by completing a degree in agriculture, agribusiness, animal science, agricultural science or rural science. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, physics and chemistry are normally required. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and have basic farm skills. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For further details, visit

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:

slight growth

Employment by state:

ACT 0.1%

NSW 26.4%

NT 0.6%

QLD 18%

SA 17.8%

TAS 3.6%

VIC 22.5%

WA 11.1%

Hours worked:



below average

Gender split:

Male 79.1%

Female 20.9%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 3.6%

Not completed Year 12: 32.7%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 17.9%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 23.9%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 10.3%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 0%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 11.5%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 18.6%

Above 35 years: 83.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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