Agriculture in North Queensland
Townsville North Queensland is the largest sugar cane producer in Australia and a significant exporter of beef cattle exporting 268,481 head of cattle in 2020.
The agriculture and farming industry is a major contributor to employment in the regional towns of Ayr, Home Hill, Charters Towers and Ingham where favourable climatic conditions help make the industry thrive. With strengths across beef, fruit, aquiculture, fisheries and vegetable production, the region continues to play a critical role in addressing global food demand.
With more than 122,000 hectares of irrigated land, and plenty of untapped cropping potential, the region is on the cusp of further growth and export potential from this sector.
Top Commodities by Gross Value
Looking for a job in North Queensland?
Visit Jobs North Queensland to search for jobs, register your Air CV and sign up for custom news and listing alerts.
- Sheep, Beef, Cattle and Grain Farming
- Fruit & Tree Nut Growing
- Nursury and Floriculture Production
- Dairy Cattle Farming
- Agriculture and Fishing Support Services
- Poultry Farming
- Livestock Management & Farming
- Forestry & Logging
Businesses in this industry are mainly involved in activities like:
- growing crops
- raising animals
- growing and harvesting timber
- harvesting fish and other animals from farms or their natural habitats.
The need for formal qualifications is less common, with around half of this workforce having no post-school qualifications. Instead, practical skills and experience are more highly valued, with many of these skills being learnt on the job. Formal qualifications, though, can be gained through the VET sector which also contributes to this industry’s skills. It is important to note, however, that technologically advanced production systems (i.e. farm automation, artificial intelligence) are becoming more common and the employers who use such systems will require more highly skilled workers.
On-the-job training is common, and many workers do not have post-school qualifications. Although, the number with a university degree has been growing.
Average earnings are $1,053 per week, lower than the ‘all industries’ average of $1,200.
The agriculture industry is being transformed by technology. As new technologies and digital solutions change how businesses in the agriculture industry operate, more and more jobs in the industry will become technology related. As a result, the workforce will need to develop and up-skill their digital capabilities in the coming years.
Employment in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing is projected to grow by 16,200 (or 5.1%) over the five years to November 2026.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing is an industry largely made up of workers employed in agribusiness. Most are farmers, living in regional Australia and managing their own properties. This is reflected in the high level of self-employment (around one in two workers, the highest percentage of any industry).
Around 43% of workers are aged 55 years or older (again, the highest of any industry).
Top Employing Occupations
- Livestock, Crop & Mixed Crop Farmers
- Farm Workers
- Agricultural, Forestry & Horticultural Operators
- Garden & Nursery Labourers
- Deck & Fishing Hands
- Agricultural and Forestry Scientists
- Metal Fitters and Machinists
- Mill & Factory Workers
Explore & Get Started
Myfuture.edu.au is an extensive career exploration resource for students, teachers advisors and parents to explore personal and career profiles, industry information, occupations, courses, videos and more
PrimeZone is a leader in educational support and resources for teachers, parents and students looking to get into primary industries
AgCareerStart is a 10-12 month paid gap-year program designed to kick-start careers in farming
CareerHavest is a resource for those exploring career opportunities in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Find a Course or Traineeship
TAFE Queensland offers courses in Agriculture and Horticulture as well as support in sourcing apprenticeships and traineeships.Visit Tafe Queensland
Tec-NQ is a registered training organisation delivering nationally accredited qualifications through the provision of full time apprentice training, VET in Schools programs, short courses and training.Visit TEC-NQ
CQ University offers courses in Science, Environment and Agriculture from Cert II to Bachelor and Master’s degrees.Visit CQ University
MEGT is a great place to find currently advertised traineeships and apprenticeships.Visit MEGT
Apprenticeships QLD is a website that directs trainees to field based apprenticeships in Queensland.Visit Apprenticeships Qld