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

    You can work as a Shearer without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    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

    All Shearers

    • Unavailable Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Higher Unemployment Unemployment
    • 5,000 workers Employment Size
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • 64% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 39 years Average age
    • 3% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Shearers (in their main job) 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 small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2018.
    • Location: Shearers work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia have a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry.
    • 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 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 3% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    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 Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing97.9
    Wholesale Trade0.6
    Construction0.3
    Arts and Recreation Services0.2
    Other Industries1.0

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateShearersAll Jobs Average
    NSW41.631.6
    VIC19.925.6
    QLD2.220.0
    SA14.47.0
    WA16.710.8
    TAS5.02.0
    NT0.01.0
    ACT0.11.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketShearersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-193.8-5.05.0
    20-2413.1-9.39.3
    25-3427.1-22.922.9
    35-4418.4-22.022.0
    45-5422.7-21.621.6
    55-598.9-9.09.0
    60-643.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.3-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: 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 QualificationShearersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree0.9-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.7-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV31.0-21.121.1
    Year 1212.4-18.118.1
    Year 119.7-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below44.3-12.512.5

    You can work as a Shearer without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    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 Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Administration and management

      46% Skill level

      Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

    2. Customer and personal service

      45% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Mechanical

      40% Skill level

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

    4. Production and processing

      40% Skill level

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

    5. Biology

      38% Skill level

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

    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, 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

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

    1. Face-to-face discussions

      97% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    2. Exposure to contaminants

      90% Important

      Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

    3. Very hot or cold temperatures

      87% Important

      Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

    4. Outdoors, exposed to weather

      86% Important

      Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

    5. Unstructured work

      83% Important

      Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

    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, 45-2093.00 - Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals.

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