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Farm Hand

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2019: Crop: 10,001 to 25,000 / Livestock: 25,001 to 50,000 / Mixed Crop & Livestock: 5,001 to 10,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: < $920 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Brief A career as a farm hand provides an active outdoor lifestyle but can be physically demanding during peak seasons.

The average work week is 57.5 hours compared to 42.1 hours per week for other occupations. Farm hands are required to work irregular hours in a range of duties. Most persons in this occupation are males with the average age being 40 years.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Farm Hand

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Introduction

The role of a farm hand involves assisting farmers and graziers with the physical work of growing crops or producing and caring for livestock. The type of work a farm hand may find them self doing in is dependent on the working environment. Farms specialise in many different areas, these include: Dairy; Poultry; Piggery; Sheep station; Cattle station; Fruit and Vegetable growing.

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Education Requirements

You can work as a farmhand without formal education qualifications. You may receive informal training on the job. You may also become a farm hand through an apprenticeship.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Agriculture. Pathways include the Certificate II in Agriculture or Rural Operations, Certificate III in Agriculture, Agriculture (Dairy Production), Pork Production or Certificate IV in Agriculture.

Career Path

There are currently a number of changes taking place in the farming sector and because of these, the ability to adapt is critical. Trade skills and animal care are highly desirable but not mandatory.

Nature of the Job

Farm hands need to be adaptable and versatile as tasks can vary daily and seasonally. Farm hands tasks may include rotating livestock in paddocks, preparing milking machinery and assisting with milking operations, removing the tails of lambs, mustering, drenching, dipping, shearing sheep, clearing away animal waste and hosing out operational areas. You are also likely to be preparing animal food, participate in breeding programmes, controlling pests and weeds, repairing farm buildings, yards and property.

Typical Physical Working Environment

Farm hands need to possess a wide range of skills from the practical ability needed to weld, repair and operate a range of equipment and tending to livestock and crop needs. It is physically demanding and requires long working hours, but can be highly rewarding according to those in the industry.

Typical Occupational Example

Much of the work a farm hand does is outdoors and they are often exposed to harsh climatic conditions. The working day starts early in the morning and its fairly usual to work during the weekends. Hours vary and you can be working for as many as 18 hours a day during the busy months. The work can also be hazardous and carries a risk of injury from machinery. For this reason, an awareness of farm safety practices is important and it is essential to be always alert on the job.

AgriFood Skills Australia
Phone: (02) 6163 7200
Email: reception@agrifoodskills.net.au
Website: www.agrifoodskills.net.au

Rural Skills Australia
Phone: 1800 647 798
Email: admin@ruralskills.com.au
Website: www.ruralskills.com.au

Dairy Australia
Phone: 1800 824 196
Email: enquiries@dairyaustralia.com.au
Website: www.thepeopleindairy.org.au
Rural Skills Australia
Phone: 1800 647 798
Email: admin@ruralskills.com.au
Website: http://www.ruralskills.com.au/

The People in Dairy
Phone: 1800 824 196
Email: enquiries@dairyaustralia.com.au
Website: http://www.thepeopleindairy.org.au/

Earning Potential

The earnings of a farm hand is extremely variable and depend upon the type of farm, level of experience and responsibilities and, perhaps most importantly, the farm's productivity. Starting salaries for farm hands range from around $21 000– $34 000 per year. There may also be other benefits such as free housing, food products and the use of a vehicle.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online