Shearers remove wool and hair from sheep, goats, alpacas and other animals.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Most workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished Year 10, 11 or 12). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • selecting and preparing shearing equipment
  • catching and positioning animals for shearing
  • shearing and removing wool and hair from animals
  • identifying contaminated fibre and injured, infected and diseased animals
  • treating skin cuts
  • returning shorn animals to let-out pens for counting and checking
  • may service, maintain and repair shearing equipment
  • may shear stud animals with hand shears or special combs

Job Titles

  • Shearer

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      Unavailable
    • Future Growth

      decline
    • Skill Level

      Certificate III or IV
    • Employment Size

      3,600
    • Unemployment

      above average
    • Male Share

      100.0%
    • Female Share

      0.0%
    • Full-Time Share

      95.7%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a very small occupation employing 3600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
    A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

    • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, South Australia has a large share of Shearers.
    • They nearly all work in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
    • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 30 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • More than 9 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
    20056300
    20064700
    20074600
    20085800
    20094100
    20103500
    20113200
    20123200
    20135800
    20145000
    20153600
    20202700

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (before tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    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.
    CategoryShearersAll Jobs Average
    Full-time95.768.4
    Part-time4.331.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.640.0

    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 Fishing100.0

    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.
    StateShearersAll Jobs Average
    NSW35.231.8
    VIC30.325.5
    QLD0.019.8
    SA25.26.8
    WA2.911.2
    TAS6.42.0
    NT0.01.1
    ACT0.01.8

    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 BracketShearersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.0-5.45.4
    20-2416.9-9.99.9
    25-3448.0-23.423.4
    35-444.6-21.721.7
    45-5414.7-21.121.1
    55-598.5-8.78.7
    60-644.4-5.95.9
    65 and Over2.9-3.83.8

    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.
    CategoryShearersCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males100.0Males53.6
    Females0.0Females46.4

    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 QualificationShearersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree0.0-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV0.0-18.918.9
    Year 120.0-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 10100.0-17.717.7
    Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

    A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Most workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished Year 10, 11 or 12). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

    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 Shearers who are reliable, work well in a team and are hardworking.

    Knowledge

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

    1. Administration and Management

      60% Important

      Planning and coordination of people and resources.

    2. Customer and Personal Service

      57% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Biology

      55% Important

      Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

    4. Production and Processing

      54% Important

      Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

    5. English Language

      53% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Occupational Information Network Cutters and Trimmers, Hand 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

      87% Important

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

    2. Performing General Physical Activities

      81% Important

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

    3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

      80% Important

      Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

    4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

      79% Important

      Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

    5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

      79% Important

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

    Occupational Information Network Cutters and Trimmers, Hand 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

    go to top