Braden Hellmuth has invested in his education for over a decade, building his skills and qualifications and growing a successful career in agriculture
Braden Hellmuth got his first taste of farming picking watermelons during school holidays in Bundaberg, Queensland, when he was 14. “It was hard work but rewarding and enjoyable, so I asked if I could keep working on weekends throughout the year,” he says.
A big fan of STEM subjects at school, Braden signed up for a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland – but continued working at the farm during uni holidays and full-time after he graduated.
Braden says he loved his science degree (“It improved my writing and ability to find information. It also taught me some life skills”) – but working on the farm he realised he needed to upskill to become better qualified for a career in agriculture.
“I was able to get a broad range of exposure to machinery and agricultural problems, and when time permitted I spent time in the shed working on the company machinery. I could see gaps in my knowledge, and looked for information sources to learn,” Braden explains. “I decided to undertake an apprenticeship, and with the assistance of some fantastic supervisors and mentors, I learned a range of skills which enabled me to become who I am today.”
Braden enrolled in a Certificate III in Engineering (Diesel Fitting Trade) where he says he gained a lot of practical skills and experience.
Today Braden is still employed at Greensill Farming – the same place he picked watermelons when he was in school – but with a growing crop of qualifications to his name, he’s now head of engineering, automation and technology.
“A day in my life is always different,” he says. “One day it’s fixing the hydraulics on a machine, the next it’s soldering circuit boards, or maybe it’s a day in the office. That’s one of the great things about being in a dynamic industry and business.”
And Braden has never stopped learning, either. He has gained a range of industry-relevant licences and is currently enrolled in a Certificate IV in Engineering (Higher Level Trade in Fluid Power) to improve his skills in hydraulics.
“Each day I look for the next opportunity to develop my skills, improve the company outcomes and help others,” he says.
Braden’s study and career path
- Farmhand, Greensill Farming
- Bachelor of Science, University of Queensland
- Certificate III in Engineering
- Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning
- Certificate IV in Engineering (Fluid Power)
- Head of Engineering, Automation and Technology, Greensill Farming
- Job Kit: Automation and Robotics Engineer
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Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.