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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.