Crop Farm Workers
Crop Farm Workers perform routine tasks in producing crops such as fruit, nuts, grains, vegetables and mushrooms.
planting trees, seeds, seedlings, roots, bulbs, vines and other plants using hand tools and farm machines
building trellises for climbing vegetables and vines
operating farm machines to cultivate, fertilise, spray and harvest fruit, nuts, grains and vegetables
spraying trees, vines and other plants with chemicals to control weed growth, insects, fungus growth and diseases
thinning, weeding and hoeing row crops, and pruning trees and vines
irrigating land for crop growth
selecting and picking fruit, nuts, grains and vegetables according to size and ripeness, and discarding rotting and over-ripened produce
grading, sorting, bunching and packing produce into containers
loading filled fruit, nut, grain and vegetable containers onto trucks
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 19,300 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 61% of people employed as Crop Farm Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 5 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,210 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $950
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,554
Median hourly earnings are $31, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Crop Farm Workers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Crop Farm Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 80% of Crop Farm Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland and South Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Crop Farm Workers is 37 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 31% of the workforce. This is 17 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Crop Farm Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||5.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Crop Farm Worker. Some workers have a certificate II or III in agriculture, production horticulture or rural operations.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Crop Farm Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||1.7||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||34.9||12.5|
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.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Crop Farm Workers who are reliable, hardworking and physically fit.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
43%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
39%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Fixing machines or systems.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
36%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
36%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
32%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Reading work related information.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
36%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
34%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
22%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
21%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
21%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
18%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
17%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
15%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
13%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
13%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
5%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Communicate by speaking.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are far away.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
36%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Keep your hand or arm steady.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
60%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
42%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
39%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
37%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
34%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
31%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
30%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
27%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
27%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
24%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
22%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
22%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
21%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
21%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
21%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
20%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
20%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
20%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
18%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
15%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
99%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
92%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
90%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
Talk with people face-to-face.
85%Pace of work set by equipment
Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.
84%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
84%In an open vehicle or equipment
Work in an open vehicle (e.g., a tractor).
Work with people in a group or team.
81%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
79%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
79%Automation of tasks
Do tasks that are mostly automated.
78%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
77%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
75%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
70%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
70%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
66%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
65%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
64%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
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, 45-2092.02 - Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop.