Livestock Farm Workers
Livestock Farm Workers perform routine tasks in livestock, egg and wool production.
patrolling, inspecting and reporting on the condition of livestock
providing livestock with feed and water
assisting with maintaining the health and welfare of livestock
mustering and droving livestock to milking and shearing sheds and between paddocks to ensure sufficient feed is available
washing and cleaning udders, and attaching milking machines to udders and milking cows
collecting eggs and placing in incubators
herding sheep for shearing and keeping mobs separate during shearing
spreading fleeces on skirting tables for classing, pressing wool and branding bales
exercising horses by walking, riding, leading and swimming, and attending to horses at track work, barrier trials and races
cleaning stables and hatcheries, storing bedding and performing minor repairs on fixtures, buildings and fences
assembling, preparing and storing horse gear
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA 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 in this occupation is likely to remain stable.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia 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 Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 64% of people employed as Livestock Farm Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 47 hours per week in their main job. This is 3 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $877 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $834
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,172
Median hourly earnings are $23, 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||Livestock 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.
Most Livestock Farm Workers work in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Livestock Farm Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 87% of Livestock Farm Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Far West and Orana
- New England and North West
- Capital Region
- South Australia - South East
- Central West (NSW).
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 Livestock Farm Workers is 33 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 37% of the workforce. This is 11 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||Livestock Farm Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||6.9||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 Livestock Farm Worker. Some workers have a certificate II or III in a related agriculture field.
- 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||Livestock Farm Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||33.8||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 Livestock Farm Workers who are trustworthy, responsible and have an enthusiastic attitude.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
45%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
45%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
39%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
39%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Reading work related information.
Fixing machines or systems.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
34%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
32%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
46%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
45%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
40%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
34%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
31%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
28%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
27%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
27%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
26%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
23%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
17%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Communicate by speaking.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
See details that are far away.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
39%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
76%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
65%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
65%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
65%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
61%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
56%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
56%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
54%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
54%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
52%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
52%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
50%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
50%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
49%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
48%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
47%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
47%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
46%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
44%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
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.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Talk with people face-to-face.
90%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
87%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
86%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
81%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
81%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Work with people in a group or team.
Work to strict deadlines.
78%Walking and running
Spend time walking and running.
77%Outdoors, under cover
Work outdoors, under cover (e.g., in an open shed).
77%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
76%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
74%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
73%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
73%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
72%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
71%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
71%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
70%In an open vehicle or equipment
Work in an open vehicle (e.g., a tractor).
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.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.