Freight Handlers (Rail or Road) load and unload freight trucks, containers and rail cars.

Also known as: Freight Loader.

You can work as a Freight Handler (Rail or Road) without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in road transport yard operations might be helpful.

Tasks

  • Labels goods with customers' details and destinations.
  • Loads goods into trucks, containers and rail wagons, and secures loads.
  • Ties down loads and covers them with tarpaulins.
  • Guides truck drivers into loading bays and through confined spaces.
  • Performs clerical functions to record and check cargo on arrival, storage and dispatch.
  • Opens and closes hatches and secures cargo to prevent shifting during voyages.
  • Transfers loads using moving equipment and directs equipment operations using communication systems.

More about Freight and Furniture Handlers

All Freight and Furniture Handlers

  • $1,317 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Higher Unemployment Unemployment

Freight Handlers (Rail or Road)

  • 6,900 workers Employment Size
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • 64% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 34 years Average age
  • 6% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Freight Handlers (Rail or Road) (in their main job) grew moderately over 5 years:
from 6,600 in 2011 to 6,900 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Location: Freight Handlers (Rail or Road) work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Manufacturing; and Retail Trade.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (64%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 34 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (26%).
  • Gender: 6% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

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 Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Transport, Postal and Warehousing54.5
Manufacturing10.4
Retail Trade9.3
Wholesale Trade7.1
Other Industries18.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateFreight Handlers (Rail or Road)All Jobs Average
NSW33.531.6
VIC26.625.6
QLD19.920.0
SA6.07.0
WA10.910.8
TAS1.12.0
NT1.01.0
ACT0.91.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketFreight Handlers (Rail or Road)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-197.9-5.05.0
20-2418.2-9.39.3
25-3424.5-22.922.9
35-4417.2-22.022.0
45-5417.4-21.621.6
55-597.1-9.09.0
60-644.9-6.06.0
65 and Over2.9-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationFreight Handlers (Rail or Road)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.9-10.110.1
Bachelor degree5.1-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.8-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV20.2-21.121.1
Year 1231.4-18.118.1
Year 119.5-4.84.8
Year 10 and below28.1-12.512.5

You can work as a Freight Handler (Rail or Road) without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in road transport yard operations might be helpful.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • forklift licence
  • driver's licence
  • national police check

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

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

Employers look for Freight and Furniture Handlers who are physically fit, reliable, polite and courteous.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mathematics

    36% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  2. Transportation

    35% Skill level

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

  3. Mechanical

    33% Skill level

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

  4. Production and Processing

    31% Skill level

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

  5. English Language

    31% Skill level

    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 skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7062.00 - Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Face-to-Face Discussions

    96% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  2. Work With Work Group or Team

    91% Important

    How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

  3. Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel

    90% Important

    How much time do you spend using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

  4. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

    90% Important

    How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

  5. Time Pressure

    88% Important

    How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7062.00 - Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand.

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