Plant operators are responsible for operating agricultural, forestry and horticultural machinery. This work involves excavating and earthmoving, servicing equipment, breaking up rocks and rubble, felling trees and moving logs.

Where agricultural, forestry and horticultural plant operators are employed

Plant operators work in a range of locations including with earthmoving and civil construction contractors, private developers, mining and minerals processing companies and government authorities. Work projects vary in size and location. Sites may be located in the city, suburbs or country and are sometimes in remote areas.


Full-time agricultural, forestry and horticultural plant operators in South Australia generally earn between $600 and $799 per week.

Graph of pay scales for agricultural forestry horticultural plant operator

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 581 people employed full-time as agricultural, forestry and horticultural plant operators in South Australia, compared with 547 in 2006.

How to become one

You can work as a mobile plant operator without formal qualifications but you may need a licence to operate some machinery. You will probably get informal training on the job.

See courses related to this occupation.

You can also become a mobile plant operator through a traineeship in surface extraction operations or mobile crane operations, or an apprenticeship or traineeship in civil construction plant operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require year 10. For more information see traineeships.

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.
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