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  • AHC21216

Certificate II in Rural Operations

At a glance

At a glance

Kick start your career in rural operations with this entry-level qualification. This course will give you the foundation skills you need to work across a range of positions in agriculture or horticulture.

  • Plant Propagator
  • Nursery Hand
  • Nursery Retail Worker
  • Rural Operations Worker

AHC21216 Certificate II in Rural Operations

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Course overview

Course overview

Make a start on your rural operations career with this entry-level course. This qualification will give you the practical skills you need to work in varied capacities in agriculture, horticulture, and animal care. 

According to the Australian Government's Job Outlook service, the number of people working as general farm hands few very strongly over the past five years. There is stable future growth predicted in this area with around 3,000 job openings expected over the next five years. 

If you choose to study the rural operations stream, you will develop basic knowledge and practical skills across livestock handling, health and welfare, fencing, machinery maintenance and operation, and more. If you choose to study the horticulture stream, you will learn to recognise, propagate and plant different plants, operate horticultural machinery and equipment, treat weeds, pests and diseases, construct landscape, paving and retaining walls, establish turf, and more. You can also choose to specialise in animal studies with a focus on small animals. Our passionate, industry experienced staff are still strongly embedded in the industry and will give you the one-on-one guidance you need to succeed.

Successful completion of this course will give you the skills to work across a variety of entry-level positions in rural operations, agriculture, horticulture, or animal care including station hand, first year jackaroo/jillaroo, yardsman, gardener, landscaping assistant, nursery hand, and more. You will also have a solid foundation to continue with further study.


The successful achievement of this qualification requires you to complete all core and 12 elective units from the list below.

Participate in work health and safety processes
Work effectively in the industry
Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
Work in the animal care industry
Participate in workplace communications
Complete animal care hygiene routines
Feed and water animals
Assist in health care of animals
Provide basic first aid for animals
Provide reception services for an animal care facility
Apply chemicals under supervision
Handle young horses
Provide daily care for horses
Carry out basic electric fencing operations
Install, maintain and repair fencing
Maintain properties and structures
Assist with pressurised irrigation operations
Care for health and welfare of livestock
Carry out regular livestock observation
Handle livestock using basic techniques
Identify and mark livestock
Load and unload livestock
Monitor water supplies
Muster and move livestock
Provide feed for livestock
Operate two wheel motorbikes
Operate tractors
Operate basic machinery and equipment
Undertake operational maintenance of machinery
Operate quad bikes
Recognise plants
Plant trees and shrubs
Prepare and maintain plant displays
Prune shrubs and small trees
Treat weeds
Assist with soil or growing media sampling and testing
Pen sheep
Observe and report on weather
Participate in workplace communications

Note: For some courses, not all electives are available at all campuses.

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Ways to study

Ways to study

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University pathways

If you want to go on to further study at university, TAFE Queensland has a pathway option to get you there. In many cases, completing one of our diplomas may give you a full year of credit towards a degree with one of our partner universities.

Learn more about university pathways
  • James Cook University
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of Canberra
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Federation University
  • University of Southern Queensland
Payment options

Payment options

No matter what your circumstances, TAFE Queensland has a payment option to suit you. If you are unsure of what's right for you, get in touch. We're here to help.

Money IconUpfront payment

This may be the full fee for the course, or the student contribution amount if you are eligible for a subsidy or concession.

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Money IconPayment plan

If you have difficulty paying for the full cost of a course upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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Important Information
Important Information

Important Information

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

Resources required

It is recommended that you have access to a reliable internet connection to access TAFE Queensland's online learning system Connect, and a computer with up-to-date software, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player. This equipment and software is available for use at all TAFE Queensland locations.

You will be provided with a recommended reading list and/or required textbooks during orientation or at the start of each unit. The purchase of these resources may incur additional costs, or you may be able to borrow them from the TAFE Queensland library network.

You are responsible for meeting the minimum occupational health and safety requirements in practical classes. This includes having access to and wearing appropriate attire including cotton long sleeved shirts and trousers, safety footwear compliant with the Australian Standard AS 2210, safety glasses, and a broad brimmed hat.

Assessment Methods

Skill and knowledge assessments are an essential step in progressing through your course. You may be assessed in a number of ways while you are studying at TAFE Queensland, including observation, written assessment, questioning, portfolios, work samples, third-party feedback, and through recognition of prior learning. Read more about assessment methods.


All information was accurate at time of publication, however TAFE policies, tuition fees and course content is subject to change without notice. Course commencement is dependent on sufficient enrolment numbers. Timetable information is subject to change prior to commencement and/or during the duration of your course.

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How to apply

How to apply

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and credit transfers

Fast track your way to a formal qualification by earning credit for the things you already know. Getting recognition for the skills you've gained from the workplace or previous learning means less study time for you, and getting the paper to prove you're qualified a whole lot sooner. We can assess your skills, directly apply credits from previous successful study, and give you advanced standing in your course.

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Get started with TAFE Queensland

If you have read and understood the student rules, refund policy, understand your fees and payment options, have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) and checked you meet the entry requirements and selection criteria for this course, you're ready to get started.

University pathways

If you want to go on to further study at university, TAFE Queensland has a pathway option to get you there. In many cases, completing one of our diplomas may give you a full year of credit towards a degree with one of our partner universities.

Learn more about university pathways
  • James Cook University
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Canberra
  • Federation University
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University of Southern Queensland