5 surprising careers in food and fibre

A food technologist researching new food products from vegetables

Here are five jobs in food and fibre that could change your ideas about the industry.

Food and fibre jobs are not just about putting your gumboots on and milking cows. Some jobs involve creating new foods while others focus on protecting the land from harmful animals and plants. Here are five unusual food and fibre jobs which could surprise you.

Agricultural pilot

Agricultural pilots are a special kind of aeroplane pilot. Agricultural pilots fly aircraft to aerially spread agricultural fertiliser or chemicals across farmland. They may fly fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. Agricultural pilots usually start on $50,000 to $70,000 a year and experienced pilots can earn as much as $150,000 a year.


Beekeepers look after beehives in apiaries that produce honey, wax, pollen and other bee products. They may also offer pollination services to horticultural and seed crop producers. Beekeepers with no experience usually earn between minimum wage and $39,000 a year. Beekeepers with up to four years' experience usually earn from $39,000 to $70,000 a year. Apiary managers responsible for staff and apiary operations can earn between $65,000 and $120,000 a year.

Biosecurity officer

Biosecurity officers check areas of land for harmful animals or plants and arrange for, or help with, pest control and destruction. Biosecurity officers with up to three years’ experience usually earn $50,000 to $60,000 a year. With more than three years’ experience, they can earn from $60,000 to $100,000 a year.

Food technologist

Food technologists research, develop and improve new food and drink products. Graduate food technologists usually earn $50,000 to $60,000 a year, with pay increasing to $75,000 after five years’ experience. Senior food technologists with five or more years’ experience can earn up to $100,000 a year.

Garment technician

Garment technicians choose clothing fabrics and designs, and make sure clothes are made to quality standards. Garment technicians with up to three years’ experience usually earn $37,000 to $45,000 a year. Senior garment technicians with additional responsibilities and more than seven years' experience can earn $60,000 to $70,000 a year.

Updated 13 Sep 2019