Agricultural or Horticultural Scientist

Agricultural or Horticultural Scientist

Agricultural and horticultural scientists research many different areas related to the production of food and other products from farms and orchards.

Their work may involve a mixture of field trials, laboratory work and data analysis in one of a wide range of different research areas, such as:

  • Using genetic analysis to select better breeds of sheep, cattle and other farm animals
  • Studying how to minimise the environmental impact of farming
  • Developing more pest-resistant varieties of crop plants
  • Looking at ways to minimise the release of greenhouse gases such as methane
  • Developing vaccines and medicines to improve animal health and productivity

Employers of agricultural and horticultural scientists include:

  • Crown Research Institutes such as Plant & Food Research and AgResearch.
  • Companies such as Dairy NZ, the Livestock Improvement Corporation, Fonterra and Zespri
  • Fertiliser manufacturers
  • Agricultural consulting companies

Agricultural and horticultural scientists are in demand in some specialist areas, such as plant and animal genetics, soil science, water quality and farming systems.

Agricultural and horticultural scientists earn:

  • $40-70,000 depending on qualifications and experience
  • Research team leaders with a PhD and many years’ experience can earn $100,000 or more

Key tertiary qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Science or Applied Science in Agricultural Science, Animal Science, Biochemistry, Horticultural Science, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Plant Science
  • A Master’s degree or PhD is generally required for work in a research role

Recommended school subjects:

  • Maths, especially Statistics & Modelling
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Agricultural or Horticultural Science
  • English

Careers New Zealand: Agricultural/Horticultural Scientist

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Agricultural or Horticultural Scientist: People who work in this role

  • Christina Fehlmann

    Senior Research Scientist, Christina Fehlmann at work

    Brogan McGreal

    Research Associate, Brogan McGreal at work

    Daniel Sutton

    R&D Technical Adviser , Daniel Sutton at work

    Kathryn McRae

    Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, Kathryn McRae at work
  • Matthew Nelson

    Orchard Manager, Matthew Nelson at work

    Blue Plunkett

    Research Associate, Blue Plunkett at work

    Jenny Green

    Research Support - Maori Engagement, Jenny Green at work

    Miriam Hall

    Research Associate Postharvest Science, Miriam Hall at work
  • Mary Black

    Innovation Leader, Mary Black at work

    Natalie Howes

    PhD Student/Research Assistant, Natalie Howes at work

    Colm Carraher

    Research Associate, Colm Carraher at work

    Gianna Tsang

    Research Associate, Gianna Tsang at work
  • Revel Drummond

    Scientist, Revel Drummond at work

    Ben van Hooijdonk

    Plant Physiologist, Ben van Hooijdonk at work

    Kerry Templeton

    Senior Research Associate, Kerry Templeton at work

    Esther Aitken

    Research Associate, Esther Aitken at work
  • Natalie Pickering

    Animal Breeding Scientist, Natalie Pickering  at work

Agricultural or Horticultural Scientist: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Cawthron Institute
    Cawthron Institute
    Landcare Research
    Landcare Research
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    Hill Laboratories
    Hill Laboratories
  • Zespri International
    Zespri International
    Focus Genetics
    Focus Genetics
    Dairy Goat Cooperative
    Dairy Goat Cooperative
  • Ballance Agri-Nutrients
    Ballance Agri-Nutrients
    Plant & Food Research
    Plant & Food Research
    Pattle Delamore Partners
    Pattle Delamore Partners
  • Fonterra

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