Jobs in the Primary Industries

VP Primary large 

“There are good stepping stones to make in the dairy industry. You can go from farm manager to sharemilker to owner. Just work hard and the opportunities will come.”

Jayden, sharemilker 


What work could I do? »

Find out what type of work you could do, and what roles you could end up in if you took the Primary Industries pathway.

Here is just a selection:

Analysing hydrology data, scanning pregnant animals, caring for and rearing animals, fruit and vegetable production, seed technologist, landscaper, growing and selling flowers, maintaining parks and cemeteries, planting, looking after or measuring trees, sawmill, kiln, or treatment operator, yard supervisor, saw doctor, energy centre operator, paper maker or pulp mill operator, machinist, warehouse person, machines and equipment operator or servicer, wood panels manufacturer, project or research engineer, operations or site manager, consultant/adviser, heavy vehicle driver, processing food or seafood, dairy farming, monitoring factory environments, supervising factory operations, managing a team, supply chain logistics, transport, export and storage, providing policy advice to government, research worker or scientist, supply chain analyst, aquaculture diver, marine farm worker, deckhand, vessel manager or marine engineer, seafood retailer, or wholesaler, turf laying and maintenance.

What industries could I work in?

Growing and production:

Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, seafood, seed industry. Processing: Meat, dairy, and food processing, solid wood processing, wood product manufacturing, pulp and paper, furniture making, seafood processing.

Primary industry servicing:

Agent/advisory/consultancy, animal care, customer services, environmental services, equine (horses and racing) government, machinery and equipment, research and science, sports turf management, supply chain and export, veterinary services.

Job profiles for the Primary Industries sector »

Browse listings of jobs, link to information on the Careers New Zealand website, and see what level of qualification you might need for different jobs in this sector.

There are a huge number of roles and occupations available in this sector, ranging from entry level through to high level.

NCEA level 2 is the minimum you need for entry level jobs or apprenticeships. This gives you a good foundation in the skills and competencies you will need to go further. For other roles, you’ll definitely need to further your education after school by undertaking tertiary study, or training on the job.

More information about all the roles listed here can be found on the Careers New Zealand website, along with key information about the job, what it pays, and current opportunities. To find out the pay, prospects, and study costs of a number of jobs, you can also check out the Occupation Outlook.

The asterisks in the following table show the level (or levels) of qualification usually associated with the role.

Sometimes you need a specific qualification to get into a job, but in many areas you can work towards higher qualifications by learning on the job. Check out the job profiles on Careers NZ, or talk to your careers advisor to find out more.







NCEA Level 2
Postgraduate degree

Architectural Technician



Agricultural Engineer



Agricultural Field Representative


Agricultural/Horticultural Consultant



Agricultural/Horticultural Scientist


Animal Care Attendant


Aquaculture Farmer








Biosecurity Officer





Building and Construction Labourer


Crop Farm Worker


Crop Farmer/Crop Manager


Dairy Farmer



Dairy Products Maker


Dog Trainer



Energy Auditor

Environmental Engineer



Environmental Scientist


Farm Worker


Farmer/Farm Manager




Fishery Officer



Fishing Skipper



Food Technologist


Forest Manager



Forestry and Logging Worker


Forestry Scientist










Horse Trainer




Landscape Architect



Landscape Gardener


Marine Biologist


Meat Inspector



Meat/Seafood Process Worker




Nursery Grower/Worker


Packhouse Worker


Production Manager



Pulp and Paper Mill Operator


Quarantine Officer





Saw Doctor


Science Technician











Wood Processing Worker


Wool Classer



Find out more

Browse a selection of other websites where you can find out more about this sector.