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Agricultural and Resource Economist

University Course Year 12 Preferred Subject Prerequisites

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.


    Agricultural and resource economists may perform the following tasks:

  • 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


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

Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Figures/Computational Outdoor Scientific


University Course Year 12 Preferred Subject Prerequisites

To become an agricultural and resource economist you usually have to study agricultural science, agricultural economics, agribusiness, resource economics or a related degree at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics and chemistry are normally required.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) in Canberra is the largest employer of agricultural and resource economists in Australia. Public sector demand mainly arises from the need to replace staff that leave the occupation. There is also a demand for agricultural and resource economists in the private sector, particularly in agribusiness, banking and consulting. As many positions are part time or seasonal, agricultural and resource economists often work as consultants in a related field. Job opportunities arise from new technologies and farming practices, as well as the development of new products.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Agricultural and Resource Economist Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

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