Starting your Ag Career
Each industry will have its own requirements regarding the qualifications, tickets or certificates you need to gain employment. At an entry level, many industries suggest completing the Certificate I in AgriFood Operations (this replaces the certificate I in Rural operations) as it covers a broad introduction to the industry. You may then wish to branch off into a specialised area or field such as a Certificate II in Poultry Productions or Certificate II or III in Agriculture. Generally speaking, you would complete certificates in order, that is a certificate I first, followed by a certificate II etc.
Once you know the qualification you need, you can search for Registered Training Organisations (RTO) that have been approved to deliver this training through the training.gov.au website. This site also allows you to look at the qualification in more detail and see which units or topics are covered.
Do your research before you commit to any training. Some providers or RTOs don’t have very good reputations and although you may gain the qualification, it won’t always ‘hold weight’ in the real world.
A number of industries will provide scholarships or awards for those interested in pursuing training in a specific industry, contact the relevant industry for more information. You may also be eligible for government support while you complete your training. You should contact the Department of Human Services in your state or territory for more information.
An apprenticeship can be a great way to gain practical, hands on experience while you are training.
As an apprentice you receive the same entitlements as other employees such as annual leave, sick leave, public holidays, and breaks. However there may be certain things that you don’t receive as an apprentice. This is because you could be entitled to paid leave for training or other training related entitlements.
Before deciding if you want to begin an apprenticeship, visit the Australian Apprenticeships web site and look into the information relevant to your specific industry and situation.
A scholarship can be a great way to start your career in Agriculture. Not only can they provide financial assistance to help you pay for training or equipment, they can also introduce you to invaluable support networks, industry contacts and mentors. It’s important that you stay up to date with scholarships as they are often only ‘advertised’ within the industry. You may be able to sign up to newsletters from industry publications or web sites or follow groups on Facebook or linked in to hear the latest news on which scholarships are available and relevant to you.