Livestock Farm Workers perform routine tasks in livestock, egg and wool production.

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 four workers have Years 11 and 10 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • patrolling, inspecting and reporting on the condition of livestock
  • providing livestock with feed and water
  • assisting with maintaining the health and welfare of livestock
  • mustering and droving livestock to milking and shearing sheds and between paddocks to ensure sufficient feed is available
  • washing and cleaning udders, and attaching milking machines to udders and milking cows
  • collecting eggs and placing in incubators
  • herding sheep for shearing and keeping mobs separate during shearing
  • spreading fleeces on skirting tables for classing, pressing wool and branding bales
  • exercising horses by walking, riding, leading and swimming, and attending to horses at track work, barrier trials and races
  • cleaning stables and hatcheries, storing bedding and performing minor repairs on fixtures, buildings and fences
  • assembling, preparing and storing horse gear

Job Titles

  • Beef Cattle Farm Worker
  • Dairy Cattle Farm Worker
  • Mixed Livestock Farm Worker
  • Poultry Farm Worker
  • Sheep Farm Worker
  • Stablehand
  • Wool Handler
  • Other Livestock Farm Workers
  • Beef Cattle Farm Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a beef cattle farm such as feeding, mustering and moving cattle, and assisting with animal husbandry.

  • Dairy Cattle Farm Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a dairy farm such as herding and milking cattle.

  • Mixed Livestock Farm Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a mixed livestock farm such as moving, feeding and counting livestock, and assisting with animal husbandry.

  • Poultry Farm Worker

    Performs routine tasks on a poultry farm such as collecting eggs and placing them in incubators, providing poultry with feed and water, and disinfecting hatcheries to prevent disease.

  • Sheep Farm Worker

    Shepherd

    Specialisations: Shepherd

  • Stablehand

    Assists with handling of horses and maintaining and cleaning stables.

    Specialisations: Horse Stud Worker, Track Rider

  • Wool Handler (also called Shearing Shed Hand or Shearing Shed Worker)

    Regulates the flow of sheep to be shorn, keeps the shearing shed clean and tidy, and assists with wool clip preparation.

  • Other Livestock Farm Workers

    Includes Deer Farm Worker, Emu Farm Worker, Goat Herder, Ostrich Farm Worker, Piggery Worker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $850 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    31,700
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    66.6%
  • Female Share

    33.4%
  • Full-Time Share

    56.0%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 31,700 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown.
Little change 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.

  • Livestock Farm Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Arts and Recreation Services; and Education and Training.
  • Part-time work is fairly common, but more than half work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 44.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $850 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 32 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
200526100
200629800
200729600
200832200
200937000
201030300
201132400
201229100
201327900
201433400
201531700
202031900

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.
EarningsLivestock Farm WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings8501230

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.
CategoryLivestock Farm WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time56.068.4
Part-time44.031.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)44.640.0

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 Fishing82.3
Arts and Recreation Services7.8
Education and Training5.5
Manufacturing2.1
Other Industries2.3

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.
StateLivestock Farm WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW38.631.8
VIC24.025.5
QLD21.019.8
SA6.86.8
WA6.711.2
TAS2.32.0
NT0.41.1
ACT0.21.8

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 BracketLivestock Farm WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1918.1-5.45.4
20-2415.0-9.99.9
25-3421.5-23.423.4
35-4414.3-21.721.7
45-5413.9-21.121.1
55-596.6-8.78.7
60-645.1-5.95.9
65 and Over5.4-3.83.8

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.
CategoryLivestock Farm WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males66.6Males53.6
Females33.4Females46.4

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 QualificationLivestock Farm WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree10.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma6.6-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV21.6-18.918.9
Year 1214.4-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1025.9-17.717.7
Below Year 1020.9-8.18.1

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 four workers have Years 11 and 10 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 Livestock Farm Workers who are trustworthy, responsible and have an enthusiastic attitude.

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.

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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.

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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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