Almost all of New Zealand’s export income comes from our primary industries – sectors that involve harvesting or extracting natural resources such as farming, horticulture, forestry, fisheries and mining.
People with technology, engineering and science skills can help create innovative ways to use these resources more efficiently and more sustainably. You might be involved in:
- Creating new products
- Designing better production processes
- Developing ‘green’ systems
- Protecting livestock, crops and forests from harmful pests
- Discovering new resources
Some of the key job roles in the primary industries include:
- Chemical and process engineers design, develop and maintain efficient processes for transforming raw materials
- Biotechnologists study living organisms and figure out new ways to use them to create products and solve problems.
- Environmental and natural resources engineers and scientists study, assess and minimise the harmful effects of human activities on the environment, and design systems to treat and remove farm wastes.
- Biosecurity officers manage the control of pest plants and animals, and try to prevent new problem species from arriving.
- Food technologists and scientists develop innovative ways to turn the vegetables, fruit, fish and meat we grow into ready to eat food products for supermarkets here or overseas.
- Geologists use their knowledge of soils, rocks and faults to locate oil, natural gas and mineral deposits.
- Agricultural and horticultural scientists and technicians improve land productivity, prevent pests and diseases and find more sustainable ways to farm.
- Fisheries scientists and marine biologists identify new ways that we can harvest sea plants and animals and develop more sustainable fisheries.
- Forestry scientists analyse tree growth, identify productive types of tree, and research better wood processing methods.
Key tertiary qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Engineering, specialising in Chemical, Biological, Bioprocess or Process Engineering
- Bachelor of Science or Applied Science, specialising in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Forestry Science, Geology, Horticulture, Marine Science, Microbiology, Molecular Biology or Plant Science
- Bachelor of Food Technology, Bachelor of Science in Food Science
Required and recommended school subjects:
- Calculus (required for Engineering, Food Technology)
- Chemistry (required for Chemical & Process Engineering, Food Technology)
- Physics (required for Engineering, Food Technology)
- Statistics & Modelling
Pathways into careers in agriculture: PICA at pica.org.nz
Industry-based training: Primary Industries ITO at primaryito.ac.nz