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Agricultural machinery operator

Agricultural machinery operators use and maintain machines for agricultural work. Technology continues to change agriculture. Upskilled workers, especially machinery operators, are in demand.

Find out what a agricultural machinery operator does and the related Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses and pathways you can take to secure a job.

What is a agricultural machinery operator?

As a agricultural machinery operator, you will use machines to plough land, and to sow, fertilise, cultivate and harvest crops. You will need to have a sound understanding of the machines, how they work and how to use them. You may also need to service the machines and perform minor repairs.

Find out more about these agricultural machinery operator jobs on the Victorian Skills Gateway(opens in a new window):

Search for related VET courses on the Victorian Skills Gateway(opens in a new window):

You may be eligible for government funding to help pay for your course.

Average salary

The average weekly earnings for agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operators in Australia is $1,042.  

Source:  Your Career(opens in a new window)

Note that this salary is current as of April 2024 and is indicative only. A range of salaries apply to different roles across the industry.

Job demand in Victoria

Below are the employment forecasts for agricultural, forestry and horticultural plant operator jobs in Victoria. Figures show the number of workers in 2023 and the new workers expected to enter the workforce by 2026.

‘New workers expected’ accounts for workers adding new jobs to the economy and replacing retirees over the next 3 years. These forecasts are estimates only. There will be additional jobs available as people move between jobs and industries.

RegionWorkers 2023Workforce growth 2023-2026New workers needed by 2026
Victoria3,577-0.5%183
Melbourne – inner metropolitan268-0.4%15
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan63-0.4%<10
Melbourne – southern metropolitan426-0.2%26
Melbourne – northern metropolitan224-0.2%13
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan356-0.2%22
Melbourne – western metropolitan226-0.3%13
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)164-0.8%<10
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)201-0.7%<10
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)222-0.5%12
Gippsland395-0.8%17
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)87-0.9%<10
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)258-0.3%15
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)209-0.8%<10
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)150-1.0%<10
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)327-1.1%11

Below are the employment forecasts for earthmoving plant operator jobs in Victoria. Figures show the number of workers in 2023 and the new workers expected to enter the workforce by 2026.

RegionWorkers 2023Workforce growth 2023-2026New workers needed by 2026
Victoria10,795-0.8%460
Melbourne – inner metropolitan1,408-0.4%76
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan417-1.0%15
Melbourne – southern metropolitan1,994-0.8%82
Melbourne – northern metropolitan1,386-0.7%62
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan1,341-0.9%53
Melbourne – western metropolitan1,385-0.7%61
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)355-0.8%15
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)397-1.2%12
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)684-0.4%37
Gippsland425-1.0%15
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)84-2.0%<10
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)172-1.3%<10
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)314-0.8%13
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)264-0.8%11
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)169-1.6%<10

Source: Victorian Skills Authority employment forecast dashboard

Resources to plan your next steps

Visit our agriculture, horticulture and agribusiness industry profile to find out about:

Explore growing industries in your region

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