Jobs in extension

There are many exciting and challenging jobs where extension is an important component of the work. The following are examples from the rural industries and highlight the diversity of employment opportunities. 

    Extension Officer – Government
There are many government and semi-government officers who practice extension under a variety of different titles. These include:
  • Agronomist
  • Bushfire Recovery Officer
  • Capacity Development Officer
  • Catchment Management Officer
  • Coastcare Officer
  • Community Relations Officer
  • Education Officer (e.g. Fisheries)
  • Environmental Officer
  • Extension Officer (e.g. Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries)
  • Farm Forestry Officer
  • Horticulturalist
  • Industry and Community Development Officer (e.g. Local, State and Commonwealth Government)
  • Irrigation Officer
  • Knowledge Worker
  • Land Management Coordinator
  • Landcare Officer (Facilitator)
  • Livestock Officers
  • Natural Resource Management (NRM) Officer
  • Pest Management (Integrated Pest Management) Officer
  • Productivity Officer
  • Social Scientist
  • Technology Transfer Officer
    Agribusiness adviser
Agribusiness plays an important role in rural areas providing a multitude of products (e.g. chemicals, fertilisers, general merchandise) and services to regional communities and primary industries. 

Many agribusiness advisers use extension in their service delivery to encourage customers to support their business.

A consultant is a person that derives their income by providing charged services to their clients. There are many different types of consultants with their speciality often reflecting past experience.

In agriculture it has been common in the past for consultants to start their career in government as extension officers. So it is not surprising that many consultants use extension in the services they provide to their clients.

    Industry Development Officer/Manager
Industries sometimes employ their own extension workers. These are commonly referred to as Industry Development Officers (IDO) and Industry Development Managers (IDM). The Industry Development Managers tend to focus nationally while the Industry Development Officers focus regionally or within a State.

    Communication Officer/Communication Manager/Industry Collaboration Manager – CRCs, CSIRO, Research Centres
Communication specialists in research centres (e.g. Cooperative Research Centres, CSIRO, State Department Research groups) often use extension when collaborating with industry and communities. The extent to which extension is used varies considerably between centres.

The principle task of a researcher is to do research. Many researchers, particularly in the agricultural industries, have also played an important role in industry development and use extension in this process. They often need to understand extension to work with those who facilitate the adoption of technologies they develop.

    Manager (Government or Private Enterprise)
Many managers in government and private enterprise need an understanding of extension to help them in their roles. They maybe managing community and industry development programs or need to understand the extension process in the development of policy and work programs.

Lecturers, educators and other trainers have always been an integral part of extension. They come from universities, agricultural colleges, TAFE, government departments and businesses such as consultancies.

Their role is to train people in extension but they also use extension in their research programs and contribute towards its development.
There are many specialists that work in business, community and industry development that have a need to understand extension to carry out their roles more effectively.

These include bankers, economists, evaluation specialists, librarians and policy makers.