Agricultural/​Horticultural Consultant
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
10d ago

Pay for agricultural / horticultural consultants varies depending on experience and whether or not they are self-employed.

Within the bands below, agricultural consultants are likely to earn more than horticultural consultants with the same amount of experience :

  • Agricultural / horticultural consultants with less than five years' experience usually earn between $45,000 and $80,000 a year.
  • Those with more than five years' experience usually earn between $80,000 and $150,000.
  • As they become more senior, agricultural / horticultural consultants are able to earn bonuses, or a proportion of the income they generate for the business they work for.

    Self-employed agricultural / horticultural consultants charge an hourly rate, which can range from $35 to over $100 an hour.

    Some earn more than $150,000 a year.

    Source : New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management, 2016.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Agricultural / horticultural consultants may do some or all of the following :

  • advise farmers and growers on how to improve the profitability, efficiency and sustainability of the farm management system
  • assist farmers and growers in developing and implementing business plans
  • advise on or oversee budgets, cashflow and production targets for clients
  • research factors that affect crop production, pasture growth and animal breeding
  • collect data and samples relating to factors that affect production, including produce, feed and soil
  • advise farmers and growers on fertiliser and nutrient use to improve productivity and environmental performance
  • investigate, plan and advise on methods for coping with the effects of natural disasters, such as floods, and pests and diseases.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Agricultural / horticultural consultants need to have :

  • in-depth knowledge of the area of agriculture or horticulture they work in
  • knowledge of farm or orchard systems management
  • competency in business planning and financial management
  • understanding of production methods and how to apply these to real-life situations.
  • Working conditions

    Agricultural and horticultural consultants :

  • may work irregular and long hours if self-employed or new to the role. They can be particularly busy in peak farming and growing seasons
  • work in offices and on clients' farms or orchards
  • work in all weather conditions
  • may travel within New Zealand or overseas to attend conferences or visit clients, factories, banks or export marketing firms.
  • Entry requirements

    Unless you have extensive experience in a relevant field, to become an agricultural or horticultural consultant you need a Bachelor's degree in one of the following :

  • agricultural or horticultural science
  • management
  • natural resources and environmental studies
  • You also need a driver's licence.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. Useful subjects include biology, chemistry, physics, English and maths, and agricultural and horticultural science.

    Personal requirements

    Agricultural / horticultural consultants need to be :

  • professional
  • patient, friendly, empathetic and able to gain the trust of people
  • good communicators, with listening and public speaking skills
  • good negotiators
  • skilled in analysis and decision making
  • well organised, with good time management skills.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for agricultural / horticultural consultants includes :

  • work on livestock farms, orchards or vegetable farms
  • sales, marketing or any work dealing with customers or clients
  • work within the agribusiness sector such as in banking, fertiliser companies, or industry organisations like DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand
  • work in an agricultural or horticultural research institution or laboratory.
  • Physical requirements

    Agricultural / horticultural consultants need to be fit and healthy because their work includes walking around farms and orchards to check livestock and / or horticulture crops.

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