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Shearing Shed Hand

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Wool Handler.

Shearing shed hands assist wool classers and shearers by performing routine duties in shearing sheds and handling the fleeces after they have been shorn from the sheep.

Shearing shed hands may need to travel long distances from property to property to work.

Accommodation is usually provided in shearers' quarters either on the property or in a nearby town.

Some work within their own district and travel daily to the shearing shed, returning to their own homes each day.

With experience and sometimes further training, it is possible to become a shearer or a wool classer.


    Shearing shed hands may perform the following tasks:

  • assist station hands to pen sheep for shearing
  • pick up the fleece after it is removed from the sheep and throw it onto a large table for 'skirting' (process to remove stained or coloured pieces and skin from the wool)
  • renove inferior and stained wool from fleeces as directed by a wool classer
  • grade wool that has been skirted off fleeces
  • roll the fleece into bundles and pass it to a wool classer for classing
  • sweep the shed floor around the shearing and wool handling areas to help keep the fleeces clean and to avoid contamination
  • identify and remove belly wool from the shearing area and place in relevant packs


  • able to work quickly for long periods
  • able to work as part of a team
  • willing to travel and live in remote areas
  • able to undertake manual work
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor


Wool Presser - transfers the fleeces and other wool types into wool presses to form solid bales. They weigh the bales; brand the completed wool bale with the farm brand, a description of the wool, the wool classer's stencil and a bale number; and keep records of all bales completed.


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

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

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in wool handling. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a shearing shed hand through a traineeship in Agriculture, Wool Handling or Advanced Wool Handling.

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.


Shearing shed hands usually work for shearing contractors who form teams of shearers and shed hands. These teams make contracts with farmers to shear their sheep.

There is usually work all year round in most states with peak demand being in spring and autumn.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Shearing Shed Hand Rural Skills Australia NSW Farmers

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