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

    • Unavailable Weekly Pay
    • 5,000 workers Employment Size
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • Higher unemployment Unemployment
    • 92.8% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 35.9 hours Average full-time
    • 33 years Average age
    • 2.9% female Gender Share

    The number of Shearers grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 5,000 in 2018 to 5,400 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 4,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 800 a year).

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
    • Location: Shearers work in most regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (92.8%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 35.9 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 33 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (26.3%).
    • Gender: 2.9% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20085300
    20094800
    20104200
    20112400
    20123700
    20134600
    20145900
    20154300
    20162300
    20174000
    20185000
    20235400

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 2017, 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
    NSW36.931.6
    VIC27.126.2
    QLD0.019.7
    SA14.16.7
    WA19.810.8
    TAS2.22.0
    NT0.01.1
    ACT0.01.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
    15-1911.7-5.25.2
    20-2414.6-9.99.9
    25-3430.4-23.623.6
    35-4417.3-21.721.7
    45-540.0-20.820.8
    55-590.0-8.88.8
    60-6414.2-6.06.0
    65 and Over11.8-4.04.0

    Education Level

    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 Certificate0-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
    Year 120-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 10100-17.717.7
    Below Year 100-8.18.1

    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.

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    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
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-2093.00 - Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals.

    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

    These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

    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
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-2093.00 - Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals.

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