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Farmer

Farmers work on farms and in nurseries and greenhouses raising livestock and plants. As populations grow, Victoria’s food and resource needs will increase, creating diverse opportunities for skilled farmers.  

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

What is a farmer?

Farmers plant and cultivate crops. They also raise and manage livestock. As a farmer, you’ll work outdoors and operate specialised machinery. Physical strength is an asset, but not essential. A willingness to upskill and adapt to new technology will help your career.

There are different kinds of farming practices across Victoria, including:  

  • livestock farming (for example, cattle, poultry, sheep and pig farming)
  • broadacre crop growing (large scale crop farming)
  • horticultural crop growing (small scale crop farming, for example, in a greenhouse)
  • mixed production farming (multiple kinds of farming on a single farm)
  • aquaculture farming (raising fish and other aquatic livestock). 

Find out more about farmers and these related jobs on the Victorian Skills Gateway:

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 a mixed livestock and crop farmer in Australia is $965. 

Source: Your Career(opens in a new window)

Note 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 livestock farmer 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
Victoria26,870-1.3%1,947
Melbourne – inner metropolitan451-0.8%40
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan174-1.0%15
Melbourne – southern metropolitan1,292-1.2%99
Melbourne – northern metropolitan525-1.0%44
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan537-1.0%44
Melbourne – western metropolitan523-1.2%40
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)1,702-1.5%117
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)2,930-1.3%215
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)1,919-1.1%156
Gippsland4,410-1.3%325
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)1,814-1.3%133
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)1,479-1.4%107
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)2,093-1.8%125
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)1,580-1.5%106
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)5,441-1.4%382

Below are the employment forecasts for crop farmer 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
Victoria10,141-0.4%1027
Melbourne – inner metropolitan2650.1%31
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan90-0.3%<10
Melbourne – southern metropolitan1,508-0.1%166
Melbourne – northern metropolitan4900.0%55
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan1,2500.0%140
Melbourne – western metropolitan500-0.1%55
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)449-0.6%42
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)545-0.6%52
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)567-0.1%62
Gippsland1,090-0.6%104
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)250-1.0%21
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)1,190-0.2%127
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)794-0.8%71
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)370-0.6%34
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)782-1.2%60

Below are the employment forecasts for mixed crop and livestock farmer 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
Victoria7,189-1.3%525
Melbourne – inner metropolitan97-1.0%<10
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan37-1.1%<10
Melbourne – southern metropolitan282-1.0%24
Melbourne – northern metropolitan125-0.9%11
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan153-0.7%14
Melbourne – western metropolitan118-1.1%<10
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)445-1.5%30
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)694-1.3%51
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)484-1.1%39
Gippsland1,242-1.3%92
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)490-1.3%36
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)455-1.2%35
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)538-1.8%32
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)448-1.5%30
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)1,581-1.4%111

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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