Pests and weeds


Stepping stones to a rewarding career

Career pathways in pest and weed management

Weed management involves identifying and getting rid of weeds. Weed control programs are important in agricultural systems and in managing parks and reserves.

Pest animals are introduced species that have been released into the wild and are harmful to the environment.

Work could include monitoring animal populations, advising authorities on pest and weed management options and adopting systems of management to parks and reserves.

Some common jobs in the industry include spray operator, weeds inspector, noxious plants inspector and noxious animal inspector.

Jobs and qualifications

Entry Level Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management »
Weeds Operator Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management »
Weeds Officer Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management »
Weeds Supervisor Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management »
Manager/Contractor Diploma of Conservation and Land Management »
Business Manager Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management »
Weeds Operator

Weeds operators may work for a weed-spraying contractor or for a land management agency or regional board.

Working with a contractor may require some or all of the following tasks to be performed:

  • Operating a range of machinery and equipment which could include tractors, 4×4 vehicles, spray equipment, and chainsaws.
  • Safely using chemicals to treat weeds.
  • Working in remote and isolated areas which will require skills in GPS, map reading and radio communication.

Working with a land management board or agency may require some or all of the following tasks to be performed:

  • Operating a range of machinery and equipment which could include tractors, 4×4 vehicles, agency vehicles, and chainsaws.
  • Observing and report on weed infestations, and non-compliance of landholders in controlling weeds.
  • Safely handling and using chemicals under supervision to treat weeds and pests may be required.
  • Working in remote and isolated areas, not just on land but also on water where skills may be required to operate a small boat. This requires GPS, map reading and radio communication skills.
  • Provide information to landholders on weed management programs and policies.
  • Responding to fire and other emergencies.
Weeds Officer

A Weeds Officer is a skilled worker who can work effectively on his or her own or as part of a team. They may be employed by a weed-spraying contractor or for a land management agency or regional board.

Working with a contractor may require some or all of the following tasks to be performed:

  • Overall coordination of weed control programs including machinery and equipment use
  • Safe preparation, handling, transportation and use of herbicides
  • Working in remote and isolated areas which will require skills in GPS, map reading and radio communication

Working with a land management agency may require some or all of the following tasks to be performed:

  • Delivery of weed extension and enforcement programs
  • Work with community groups and individuals involved in weed management
  • Provide a range of services to clients such as chemical sales, literature and technical support
  • Safely handle, transport and prepare Chemicals must only be applied by qualified persons outside the workplace.
  • Use computer and telecommunications technology including word processing, spreadsheets and databases, voicemail and email.
Weeds Supervisor, Senior Weeds Officer and Enforcement Officer

Weeds Supervisors may be employed by a weed-spraying contractor, while Senior Weeds Officers and Enforcement Officers are generally employed by a land management agency.

A Weeds Supervisor will usually be responsible for a team of workers and may be required to undertake some or all of the following tasks:

  • Daily supervision of staff and their weed control activities with responsibility for safety and work performance. This will also include on-job training of staff.
  • Planning, scheduling, costing and organising spraying activities to be undertaken in the field
  • Planning and implementing chemical use programs and minimising risks in the use of chemicals

A Senior Weeds Officer working for a land management agency will usually be responsible for a team of workers and may be required to undertake some or all of the following tasks:

  • Daily supervision of staff and responsibility for their safety and work performance. This will also include on-job training of staff.
  • Preparing and implementing pest management action plans in liaison with the community
  • Operating within the agency’s budget, legislation and policies.
  • Liaising with and providing information to the media, community and special interest groups.

An Enforcement Officer working for a land management agency will be responsible the following tasks:

  • Working with landholders to ensure they understand and carry out weed control as required by agency policies and government legislation
  • Providing advice to landholders on weed control techniques
  • Inspecting areas to check whether landholders are complying with legislation
  • Undertake prosecution procedures and preparing for and giving evidence in court
Manager, Contractor or Chief Weeds Officer

At this level responsibilities may cover managing a weed control business (contractor) or working within a land management agency or regional board.

Contractors may be required to undertake some or all of the following tasks:

  • Overall management responsibility for a weed control business including managing business operations and staff
  • Preparing and submitting tenders and quotes for work
  • Managing and implementing weed control contracts and projects

Managers working for a land management agency or board may be required to undertake some or all of the following tasks:

  • Overall management responsibility for a business unit including managing business operations and human resources.
  • Preparing and monitoring budgets and financial reports.
  • Implementing development and monitoring of regional weed control plans and strategies.
  • Assisting in the preparation of land management policy I relation to weeds
  • Preparing and submitting reports, estimates and proposals for projects.

* Source acknowledgment: Primary Skills Victoria