Skip to content

Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 information for Tasmania -

Close alert

Skills Tasmania

Primary Industries (Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing)

Sector workforce & training profile

(updated November 2019)

The Tasmanian primary industry sector is a significant contributor to the state’s economy and is comprised of agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The Tasmanian Agri-Food ScoreCard[1] reports the gross value of the agriculture, seafood and food value of the sector as $2.7 billion gross in 2017-18.

The direct value of output generated by the Tasmanian Forest Industry for 2015-16 at the point of sale of primary processed products was $712 million, increasing to $1,277 when the flow on effects generated in other industries as a result of spending by the forest industry are included.[2]

The Tasmanian Government as invested, and continues to invest considerable funding into workforce development and training for the primary industry sector. This includes key funding initiatives such as the current $5 million investment in an Agricultural Centre of Excellence, centred around Burnie’s Freer Farm.

The current Tasmanian Seafood Pledge, as a partnership between Tasmanian Government, Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council and Seafood and Maritime Training Tasmania, provides $2 million dollars in funding to support essential safety and skills training for the seafood industry.

Launched in 2016, the Tasmanian Government is investing $6m in forestry training under the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) delivered by Forest Works.

[1] AgriGrowth Tasmania, DPIPWE, Tasmanian Agri-Food ScoreCard 2017-18

[2] Shirmar J et al Socio-economic impacts of the forest industry – Tasmania, May 2018, University of Canberra

Sector Overview

The Tasmanian primary industry sector is diverse in production, business type and size, location from large multinational processing businesses and corporate farms to smaller, owner operated businesses.

Whilst a decline in employment numbers have been occurring, and continue to be predicted for the sector, largely driven by technology advancement, this embracing of technology which potentially driving a demand for increased skills for employees.

With its reach across the state, its breadth of job roles and its focus on technology, the primary industry sector in Tasmania has employment opportunities for people of varying skill levels and interests.

Note: All the following information is for Tasmania unless otherwise specified. All information will be updated with further Tasmania specific data as primary research results become available.

Sector Statistics for Agriculture, forestry and fishing

(note: all information is for Tasmania unless otherwise specified)

Contribution to economy (2017/18) [3]


Number of jobs (2017/18) [4]


Median weekly earnings (in main job) [5] (Australia)


Make up of sector by number of employees[6]









[3] National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) (opens a new window) ©2018. Compiled and presented in by .id (opens a new window), the population experts.

[4]  National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) (opens a new window) ©2018. Compiled and presented in by .id (opens a new window), the population experts.

[5] Australian Bureau of Statistics: 6333.0 - Characteristics of Employment, Australia, Table 3.1, August 2018

[6] 8165.0 Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2014 to Jun 2018 Businesses by Main State by Industry Class by Employment Size Ranges, June 2018 (a) Tasmania Operating at end of financial year

Job Roles in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

5-10 most common job roles (2016)[7]:



Key Information

Farmers and Farm Managers


The majority of businesses are owner/ operator so these roles are primarily owners

Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers



Mobile Plant Operators



Food Process Workers



Natural and Physical Science Professionals



Miscellaneous labourers



Accounting, Clerks and Bookkeepers



Truck Drivers



Packers and Product Assemblers



Construction, Distribution and Production Managers



[7] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016.

Growth job roles 2011-2016[8]:

Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers


Sales Assistants and Salespersons


Truck Drivers


Food Process Workers


Construction, Distribution and Production Managers


Agricultural, Medical and Science Technicians


Mobile Plant Operators


Packers and Product Assemblers


Chief Executives, General Managers and Legislators


Mechanical Engineering Trades Workers


[8] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016.

Education and Training

Most common VET qualifications completed (2018)[9]:




Certificate I

Maritime Operations (Coxwain Grade 2 Near Coastal)


Certificate II

Animal Studies


Certificate II

Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 1 Near Coastal)


Certificate III

Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres Near Coastal)


Certificate II

Animal Studies


Certificate II



Certificate III



Certificate III

Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Grade 2 Near Coastal)


Certificate III

Conservation and Land Management


[9] NCVER 2018

About the Industry

Forestry, fishing, agriculture Employers of Choice

2018   Forico

2015   Huon Aquaculture

2019   Sustainable Timber Tasmania

2012   Tassal

Peak Industry Associations


Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

Primary Employers Tasmania

Rural Business Tasmania


Arbre Forest Hub

Tasmanian forest and forest products network


Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council

Useful Links

Labour Market Information Portal

ID Consulting

Tasmanian apprenticeships and traineeships

Endorsed Registered Training Organisations

Workforce Development Plans and Reports