Will this sector suit me?

VP Primary Delila


“I coordinate the work of 18 forestry production and thinning crews and usually spend two days in the bush and the other three in the office – so I get the best of both worlds.”


Delila, technical services coordinator

What qualities will I need?

In primary industries employers are looking for people who like being with and looking after living things – you’ll have a head start if you’re interested in and respect the environment, enjoy growing things, and believe in the ethical treatment of animals. If you like physical activity, being with mates, and enjoy being outdoors, there’s a job on the land for you.

An enthusiasm for technology is vital in all primary industries because there’s plenty of it, and because it’s always changing, you’ll need to keep up (there’s always plenty of training to help you). This sector suits people who are self-motivated and can use their initiative because you may be working on your own a lot and you need to be able to make decisions quickly.

In the primary industries there’s a lot of customer contact so you need to be good with people. Paying attention to detail also helps, as you may be working to exacting specifications. You could have a degree in anything from science to biology, polytech training in any one of dozens of industries, or enter the primary sector straight from school. There is a huge range of jobs in this sector – and plenty of room to change and grow. 

What key competencies do employers look for?


  • You’ll be looking for ways to be as productive as possible, using your knowledge in lots of different situations, observing what’s happening around you, and managing risk to yourself and others.

Managing self

  • You need to be able to work by yourself without supervision, be resilient, adaptable, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • You need to keep fit and healthy.

Participating and contributing

  • You’ll be an active, willing, and positive contributor in your community.

Using language, symbols, and texts

  • You’ll be able to read, write, and have practical maths skills, such as measuring, using plans, and entering and extracting basic information on computers.
  • You’ll be able to read instructions and safety guidelines.

Relating to others

  • You’ll be able to work in a team and play your part in it.