Freight and Furniture Handlers

ANZSCO ID 8911

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
21,900
Future Growth
0.7%
Weekly Earnings
$1,266
Full-Time Share
64%
Female Share
6%
Average age
38

Summary

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.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Labourers
Skill Level
Entry level
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Heavy
  • Very Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

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 in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

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.

Projected Change
0.7%
(or 100 jobs)
From
11,900
in 2021
To
12,000
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 13,100
2012 13,700
2013 16,700
2014 17,800
2015 14,300
2016 14,100
2017 14,400
2018 14,200
2019 21,400
2020 12,500
2021 11,900
2026 12,000

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 64% of people employed as Freight and Furniture Handlers 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 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,266 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,094
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,803

    Median hourly earnings are $30, 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. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. 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)

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.
Earnings Freight and Furniture Handlers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,266 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
72.0%
2
Manufacturing
12.1%
3
Wholesale Trade
4.5%
4
Retail Trade
3.8%
5
Other industries
7.6%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

31.9% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

25.0% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

20.1% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

12.3% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.1% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.2% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.7% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Freight and Furniture Handlers All Jobs Average
NSW 31.9 31.6
VIC 25.0 25.6
QLD 20.1 20.0
SA 6.6 7.0
WA 12.3 10.8
TAS 2.1 2.0
NT 1.2 1.0
ACT 0.7 1.9


  • Around 63% of Freight and Furniture Handlers live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.

    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.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
38
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
6%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Freight and Furniture Handlers is 38 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 6% of the workforce. This is 42 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)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Freight and Furniture Handlers All Jobs Average
15-19 6.8 5.0
20-24 15.6 9.3
25-34 21.9 22.9
35-44 18.9 22.0
45-54 20.6 21.6
55-59 8.3 9.0
60-64 5.1 6.0
65 and Over 2.8 4.2
Median Age 38 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Freight or Furniture Handler. Some workers have a certificate II or III in transport and logistics (rail operations), road transport (freight handler), warehousing operations, driving operations or stevedoring.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

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.
Type of Qualification Freight and Furniture Handlers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.8 10.1
Bachelor degree 4.1 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 5.2 11.6
Certificate III/IV 25.1 21.1
Year 12 28.3 18.1
Year 11 9.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 27.1 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 Freight and Furniture Handlers who are physically fit, reliable, polite and courteous.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 41%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 39%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 37%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 34%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 34%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 34%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 32%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 32%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 32%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 30%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 30%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 30%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 30%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 30%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 29%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 29%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 29%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 27%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 27%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 23%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 36%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 35%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 33%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 31%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 31%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 29%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 27%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 26%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 23%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 22%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 21%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 18%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 15%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 13%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 13%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 12%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 11%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 10%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 8%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 6%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 57%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 52%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 52%

    Trunk strength

    Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

  • 52%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 46%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 46%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 45%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 45%

    Stamina

    Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 43%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 41%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 39%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 39%

    Dynamic strength

    Exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

  • 39%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 39%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 37%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 37%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 36%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 36%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 80%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 71%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 57%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 54%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 48%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 48%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 48%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 47%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 44%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 40%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 39%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 39%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 37%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 35%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 34%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 34%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 31%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 29%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 28%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 28%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.


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

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 33%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 62%

    Relationships

    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.

  • 62%

    Support

    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.

  • 31%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 29%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 29%

    Independence

    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.

  • 29%

    Recognition

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 96%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 91%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 90%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 90%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 88%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 86%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 85%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 83%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 81%

    In an open vehicle or equipment

    Work in an open vehicle (e.g., a tractor).

  • 80%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 76%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 75%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 75%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 74%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 73%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 72%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 70%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 69%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 68%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 66%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

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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