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 2020: <5,000
Median weekly earnings: < $950
Australian Government Department of Employment projections to 2020
A career as a farm hand provides an active outdoor lifestyle but can be physically demanding during peak seasons. Farm Hands perform routine tasks in crop cultivation and animal production.

TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Farm Hand

Accredited (Award)

  • 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 themself doing 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.

  • 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 Certificate II and III in Agriculture.

    Still unsure? Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA - check the website for short courses available.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • While there are many jobs in most parts of Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales have a large share. Full-time work is fairly common and workers on average work 44.9 hours per week.

    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 it's 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.