Viticulturists are horticultural experts who specialise in the growth of grapes, usually for use in winemaking. They are involved in all stages of the growing process, from the selection of seeds right through to choosing appropriate harvesting methods.
If you love science and nature, and want a job where you get to work in the outdoors, becoming a Viticulturist could be ideal.
- Great problem solver
- Fit and active
- Excellent communicator
- Analytical and logical
- Adaptable and flexible
- Passionate about agriculture
- Love the outdoors
- Reliable and dedicated
- Choosing appropriate seed varieties
- Monitoring planting and propagation
- Testing and monitoring soil and plant health
- Implementing pest and disease control measures
- Assessing fruit quality and ripeness
- Supervising and participating in harvesting
- Testing fruit characteristics, including taste
- Developing new production strategies
Lifestyle Impact: Moderate
- Part Time opportunities: Low – around 24% of Viticulturists work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 48 hours a week, which is above average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Viticulturists’ salary (median) $76,000* per year (source: payscale.com). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- A lot of your work will be done outdoors, so you’ll need to be prepared to work come rain, hail, or shine.
Viticulturalists are most in demand in these locations:
A huge majority of Viticulturalists are employed in regional and rural areas, as these tend to be where farms and vineyards are located. Viticulturists typically work in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry.
How to become a Viticulturist
A minimum undergraduate-level qualification is usually desired in order to find work as a Viticulturist.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English, Maths, and Science
Step 2 – Study a relevant undergraduate degree, including Viticulture, Agriculture, or Science.
Step 3 – Apply for entry-level positions where you can get lots of hands-on experience.
Step 4 – If you are required to handle pesticides, you may need to apply for a pest management license or undertake further training in your state or territory.
Step 5 – Consider further study in winemaking, or even running your own vineyard.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Viticulturists do?
Viticulturists are experts in all things grapes and wine, helping vineyards to grow and press the best quality grapes.
Which industries employ Viticulturists?
Viticulturists are mostly employed in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry.
What options are there for career progression?
You can start out working as a farm hand or assistant, doing hands-on work out in the field. With some study and experience, you can become a fully qualified Viticulturist, before one day even owning your own winery.
Do I need to go to university to become a Viticulturist?
Not necessarily, but university-level qualifications can greatly boost your employment prospects and help you fast-track your career.
Where do Viticulturists work?
Viticulturists work in a variety of environments, from out in the field planting seeds and harvesting fruits, to in the lab testing soil and developing new production methods.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Viticulturist?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Viticulturist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Start developing your green thumb – get into the garden at home and plant some fruits and vegetables, or see if your school has a community garden you can help tend to.
- Find work experience or casual work and start building on valuable skills, which can help put you ahead of the pack when it comes to applying for jobs down the track.
- Talk to a Viticulturist to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about the role.