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Fruit and Vegetable Picker

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Year 10 Preferred

Fruit and vegetable pickers harvest fruit, vegetables, nuts and berries at farms, market gardens and orchards, and prepare produce for distribution.

Fruit and vegetable pickers work in diverse environments ranging from high-tech, large-scale operations to small family farms.

They may work from ladders or mechanical hoists when they are picking tree crops, or they may have to stoop to pick field and vine crops.

Gloves may be worn to protect hands from thorny branches.

Weather conditions can be hot, dusty, humid or rainy, but work usually continues in these conditions to ensure the harvest is completed on time.

Harvesting work is seasonal and pickers may travel long distances after picking one crop to get to their next job.

Some employers provide accommodation but pickers usually need to find their own.


    Fruit and vegetable pickers may perform the following tasks:

  • select fruit and vegetables for picking according to size and ripeness, and discard rotting and over-ripened produce
  • operate farm machinery to harvest nuts, fruit and vegetables
  • load picked fruit and vegetables into containers, taking care to avoid damage
  • drive tractors or other vehicles to deliver fruit and vegetables to the packing shed
  • sort and pack produce
  • drive forklifts to load boxes of produce onto trucks


  • enjoy practical work
  • free from skin conditions and allergies to agricultural chemicals
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to work at heights
  • able to work quickly and consistently for long periods of time
  • willing to work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • able to travel from property to property to pick fruit and vegetables
  • able to undertake manual and sometimes heavy work
  • reliable and motivated

Interest Area

Outdoor Manual/Practical


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a fruit and vegetable picker without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

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.


Seasonal employment is available throughout NSW and the ACT, with some demand usually met from local labour and regular workers who have been coming to the region over a number of years. Increasingly, there has been interest from backpackers who are working in Australia on holidays. Therefore, it is wise for outside labourers to have a firm offer of employment before travelling to the harvest areas.

Pickers are usually paid an hourly rate or an agreed amount based on how much produce they pick.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Fruit and Vegetable Picker Jobsearch Harvest Trail Rural Skills Australia Future Farmers Network

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