What they do
Agricultural technicians provide technical support to assist agricultural scientists in studying farm animals, crops and factors affecting farm production, to improve the efficiency and sustainability of farms and related agricultural enterprises.
They collect and analyse samples of produce, feed, soil, water and other elements that may be affecting agricultural production. Agricultural technicians support the study of different farming techniques, associated pests and diseases and environmental conditions that may be affecting production. This data can be used to develop more efficient techniques for solving agricultural problems, such as drought or pest infestation.
Specialisations include: Agriculture Laboratory Technician, Artificial Insemination Technical Officer, Dairy Technician, Field Crop Technical Officer, Herd Tester, Horticultural Technical Officer
Agricultural technicians generally divide their time between carrying out field work at farms and nurseries, and working in offices, laboratories and/or glasshouses. When conducting field work, they typically work outside in a wide range of weather conditions, depending on the time of year and location of the farm.
Their hours of work can vary considerably, depending on the type of work being carried out. Most office and laboratory work is performed during regular business hours, while field work often involves early mornings and may also require weekend work.
Agricultural technicians may undertake fieldwork throughout regional Western Australia, particularly in the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions
Tools and technologies
Agricultural technicians use a range of specialised scientific equipment, both to collect and preserve samples in the field, and analyse them in the laboratory. Agricultural technicians may come into contact with chemicals, which require the wearing of protective clothing such as gloves, safety glasses and lab coats. Some agricultural technicians may also operate farm equipment, such as tractors, when conducting field work.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become an agricultural technician, you usually need to gain a qualification in agriculture.
The Diploma of Agriculture is offered at TAFE Colleges throughout Western Australia Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.