How to become an Agricultural and Resource Economist

Agricultural and resource economists study and apply economic principles to the use and management of resources in the agricultural, fisheries, forestry and other primary industries.

Personal requirements of a Agricultural and Resource Economist

  • an analytical mind and ability to think logically
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good at mathematics
  • organisational and time management skills.

Duties & Tasks of a Agricultural and Resource Economist

Agricultural and resource economists:

  • undertake research into factors that affect farm costs and market returns, such as the availability of farm credit, the way farms are established and operated, the potential cash return from crop sales and the distribution of farms in a particular region
  • explore ways of raising the incomes and efficiency of primary producers
  • conduct economic studies into areas such as livestock production, forestry, field crops, wool, cotton, fruit and winemaking
  • examine and report on existing or alternative methods of grading, processing, storage, sale, marketing and transport of agricultural products
  • monitor, review and report on rural conditions and domestic and overseas agricultural, economic and political developments that affect the efficiency of the agricultural sector
  • assess the past and/or potential future impacts of policy changes (proposed or actual) on the farm sector and the wider economy
  • advise on the appropriate management of natural resources
  • conduct analyses and make recommendations to government and industry on economic issues and/or policies affecting the supply, demand and price of agricultural produce and resources.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 15.4%

NSW 34.1%

NT 0.8%

QLD 12.6%

SA 3.5%

TAS 1%

VIC 26%

WA 6.7%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 67%

Female 33%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 3.1%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0.6%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 1.3%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 44.7%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 50.2%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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