Freight and Furniture Handlers load and unload trucks, containers and rail cars, and transfer cargo between ships and other forms of transport and storage facilities.

    You can work as a Freight or Furniture Handler without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Freight and Furniture Handlers often complete a certificate III or IV.

    Tasks

    • labelling goods with customers' details and destinations
    • loading goods into trucks, containers and rail wagons, and securing loads
    • assisting to tie down loads and cover them with tarpaulins
    • guiding truck drivers into loading bays and through confined spaces
    • performing clerical functions to record and check cargo on arrival, storage and despatch
    • opening and closing hatches and securing cargo to prevent shifting during voyages
    • transferring loads using moving equipment and directing equipment operations using communication systems
    • stacking cargo on pallets, trays, flats and slings to facilitate transfer to and from ships

    More about Freight and Furniture Handlers

    All Freight and Furniture Handlers

    All Freight and Furniture Handlers

    • $1,317 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Higher Unemployment Unemployment
    • 16,900 workers Employment Size
    • Entry level Skill level rating
    • 64% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 38 years Average age
    • 6% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Freight and Furniture Handlers (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 16,900 in 2018 to 17,900 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 19,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 3,800 a year).

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2018.
    • Location: Freight and Furniture Handlers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Manufacturing; and Retail Trade.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,317 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • 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 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (22%).
    • Gender: 6% 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
    200814800
    200914300
    201016200
    201114000
    201212400
    201314400
    201415600
    201515100
    201614800
    201716100.0
    201816900
    202317900

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
    EarningsFreight and Furniture HandlersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings13171460

    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 Warehousing66.0
    Manufacturing7.5
    Retail Trade6.5
    Wholesale Trade5.4
    Other Industries14.6

    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 and Furniture HandlersAll Jobs Average
    NSW31.931.6
    VIC25.025.6
    QLD20.120.0
    SA6.67.0
    WA12.310.8
    TAS2.12.0
    NT1.21.0
    ACT0.71.9

    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 and Furniture HandlersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-196.8-5.05.0
    20-2415.6-9.39.3
    25-3421.9-22.922.9
    35-4418.9-22.022.0
    45-5420.6-21.621.6
    55-598.3-9.09.0
    60-645.1-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.8-4.24.2

    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 and Furniture HandlersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.8-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree4.1-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.2-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV25.1-21.121.1
    Year 1228.3-18.118.1
    Year 119.3-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below27.1-12.512.5

    You can work as a Freight or Furniture Handler without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Freight and Furniture Handlers often complete a certificate III or IV.

    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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