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Farm Hand

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Station Hand.

Farm hands assist farmers and graziers with growing crops and feeding and raising livestock.

Farm hand work can be physically demanding.

During lambing, calving, mustering, harvesting or fruit picking time, farm hands may be required to work long and irregular hours.

Accommodation may be provided by the employer on the property.


    Farm hands may perform the following tasks:

  • cultivate soil, sow crops and control weeds by slashing, rotary hoeing or chemical spraying
  • plant ground crops between rows of trees and bushes to control weeds and soil temperatures
  • construct wire trellises (frames) to support vines, berries and fruit
  • take part in harvesting operations using tractors, harvesters, forklifts and hand tools
  • feed livestock and poultry
  • prepare milking machinery and assist with milking operations
  • clean and sterilise farm equipment
  • clear away animal waste and hose out operational areas
  • perform other tasks involved with the breeding and raising of livestock, such as shearing, dipping, branding, crutching, gelding, marking and assisting with artificial insemination
  • ride horses or motorbikes to muster sheep or cattle
  • maintain and repair farm buildings, bores, fences, machinery, troughs, windmills and other equipment


  • enjoy practical work
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to undertake manual and heavy work
  • able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • enjoy working outdoors
  • able to work for long hours and in all kinds of weather conditions
  • able to work both in a team and with limited social contact
  • mechanical aptitude

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor Technical/Engineering


Dairy Farm Hand/Worker - works on farms mainly concerned with milk production. They round up cows, secure them in bails in the milking shed, wash udders with a solution of detergent and water, attach milking apparatus to udders and milk cows. They may also be involved in the breeding side of dairy farming.

Fruit and Vegetable Farm Hand - assists in the cultivation, harvesting and packaging of fruit, vegetables, nuts and berries on farms, orchards and market gardens. They may be responsible for spraying chemicals to treat disease and pests, irrigating crops and selecting suitable produce for sale as dictated by quality guidelines.

Piggery Worker - raises pigs for meat production or for sale as breeding stock. They breed sows with selected boars, work out feed formulas, inject serum to prevent disease and clean and disinfect buildings and pig pens. They also keep breeding and feeding records.

Poultry Farm Hand - works on farms concerned with egg production or raising poultry for sale. They may keep eggs in incubators, look after the newly hatched chickens and provide them with feed and water, and disinfect hatcheries to prevent disease.

Sheep/Cattle Station Hand - musters stock for branding, shearing, crutching, dipping and yarding for sale. They also maintain fences, bores, troughs and windmills.


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a farm hand without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

You can also become a farm hand through a traineeship in Agriculture.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


There are opportunities to progress quickly, once skills are obtained, and to specialise in certain areas, including agribusiness enterprises.

Skilled farm hands may undertake further study and, in time, become farm managers, enter into share-farming partnerships or purchase their own farming operation. Others go on to work in businesses and government agencies that service rural communities and farmers/farm managers.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Farm Hand Rural Skills Australia Future Farmers Network Diary Australia NSW Farmers

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