Crop Farm Workers perform routine tasks in producing crops such as fruit, nuts, grains, vegetables and mushrooms.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • planting trees, seeds, seedlings, roots, bulbs, vines and other plants using hand tools and farm machines
  • building trellises for climbing vegetables and vines
  • operating farm machines to cultivate, fertilise, spray and harvest fruit, nuts, grains and vegetables
  • spraying trees, vines and other plants with chemicals to control weed growth, insects, fungus growth and diseases
  • thinning, weeding and hoeing row crops, and pruning trees and vines
  • irrigating land for crop growth
  • selecting and picking fruit, nuts, grains and vegetables according to size and ripeness, and discarding rotting and over-ripened produce
  • grading, sorting, bunching and packing produce into containers
  • loading filled fruit, nut, grain and vegetable containers onto trucks

Job Titles

  • Fruit or Nut Farm Worker
  • Fruit or Nut Picker
  • Grain, Oilseed or Pasture Farm Worker
  • Vegetable Farm Worker
  • Vegetable Picker
  • Vineyard Worker
  • Mushroom Picker
  • Other Crop Farm Workers
  • Fruit or Nut Farm Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a fruit or nut farm such as cultivating and fertilising soil, and planting, irrigating and pruning crops. May spray chemicals on crops to treat disease and pests.

    Specialisations: Orchard Worker

  • Fruit or Nut Picker

    Harvests fruit and nuts and prepares produce for distribution.

  • Grain, Oilseed or Pasture Farm Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a grain, oilseed protein, or pasture farm such as cultivating and fertilising soil, and planting and irrigating crops. May spray chemicals on crops to treat disease and pests.

  • Vegetable Farm Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a vegetable farm or market garden such as cultivating and fertilising soil, and planting and irrigating crops. May spray chemicals on crops to treat disease and pests.

  • Vegetable Picker

    Harvests vegetables and prepares produce for distribution.

  • Vineyard Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a vineyard such as cultivating and fertilising soil, planting, training and pruning vines, and picking grapes.

  • Mushroom Picker

    Harvests mushrooms and prepares produce for distribution.

  • Other Crop Farm Workers

    Includes Coffee Plantation Worker, Flower Buncher or Picker, Hop Farm Worker, Lavender Farm Worker, Sugar Cane Planter, Tea Plantation Worker, Tea Tree Farm Worker, Turf Farm Worker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $777 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    24000
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    73.2%
  • Female Share

    26.8%
  • Full-Time Share

    61.0%

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This is a large occupation employing 24,000 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, South Australia and Queensland have a large share of Crop Farm Workers.
  • They mainly work in: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Manufacturing; and Wholesale Trade.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.7 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $777 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 35 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 3 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200534100
200633500
200725200
200826600
200923700
201026300
201121200
201221300
201321400
201420200
201524000
202021000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsCrop Farm WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings7771230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryCrop Farm WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time6168.4
Part-time3931.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.740

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing89.8
Manufacturing3.1
Wholesale Trade2.9
Administrative and Support Services2
Other Industries2.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateCrop Farm WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW2331.8
VIC17.425.5
QLD26.419.8
SA19.36.8
WA9.211.2
TAS4.52
NT01.1
ACT0.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketCrop Farm WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1912.3-5.45.4
20-2414.7-9.99.9
25-3423.1-23.423.4
35-4411.1-21.721.7
45-5417.1-21.121.1
55-5911.1-8.78.7
60-647.8-5.95.9
65 and Over2.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryCrop Farm WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males73.2Males53.6
Females26.8Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationCrop Farm WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree7-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV7.5-18.918.9
Year 1241.1-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1024.3-17.717.7
Below Year 1020.1-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Crop Farm Workers who are reliable, hardworking and physically fit.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Mechanical

    52% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  2. Personnel and Human Resources

    49% Important

    Recruiting and training people. Managing pay and other entitlements like sick and holiday leave. Negotiating pay and conditions.

  3. Food Production

    47% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  4. Transportation

    46% Important

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  5. Administration and Management

    45% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

Occupational Information Network Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    65% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Controlling Machines and Processes

    64% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  3. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    59% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  4. Getting Information

    58% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Performing General Physical Activities

    57% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Occupational Information Network Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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