Occupation spotlight: crop farm worker

Find out how to become a crop farm worker and the career opportunities you could have.

On this page:

What a crop farm worker is

Crop farm workers usually work on farms in rural areas. Crop farm workers:

  • Use tools and machines to plant trees, seeds, and other plants.
  • Help crops grow by building frames for vegetables and vines to climb.
  • Use chemicals to protect against weeds and diseases.
  • Make sure the land is watered properly.

When it's time to collect the produce, a crop farm worker will pick the fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables that are ready and put them into containers. They load the containers onto trucks.

This job requires you to be strong, pay attention to detail, and handle the produce carefully.

Some examples of jobs within the crop farm worker occupation:

Entry level requirements

You do not need formal qualifications to be a crop farm worker. Work experience and being able to understand and speak basic English is an advantage.

Crop farm work may be a perfect job if you:

  • are fit and healthy
  • work well with others
  • can follow instructions
  • like working outdoors
  • have experience or are willing to learn how to operate farm equipment.

Skills and knowledge

Crop farm workers need to know a lot about farming, like how to rotate crops, control pest, and take care of the soil.

To gain experience and build your knowledge you may want to do a course or do some training. Visit Your Career to find out more information.

Pay and hours

Most crop farm jobs in Australia are seasonal. Timing of the growing season will vary depending on the region and the crop. Most crops have a planting, growing, and harvesting season. The tasks you undertake may vary from season to season.

During peak growing seasons early morning starts are common. You may also have to work over the weekend.

Crop farm work is an entry level occupation. Visit the Labour Market Insights website to find how much a crop farmer earns and what hours they work.

Harvest work minimum wages and conditions are set by the Horticulture Industry award. Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website to find information on award wages and employment conditions.

The top 6 skills employers are looking for in crop farm workers are:

  • machinery operation
  • forklift knowledge
  • irrigation knowledge
  • communication
  • organisation
  • crop production experience.

Licences and tickets

While not required, having certain licences or tickets can increase your chances of getting a job. Some examples include:

  • getting a first aid certificate
  • holding an occupational health and safety certificate
  • obtaining a forklift ticket
  • earning a backhoe ticket
  • having a valid driver's licence
  • obtaining a heavy vehicle license to operate larger trucks.

Employment outlook

Crop farm workers are the fourth largest employing occupation in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.1

The number of crop farm worker jobs are likely to grow moderately from now until 2026. Work will vary depending on regional area and seasonal demand. A crop farm worker is an entry level position.

Visit the Labour Market Insights website to find out more about crop farm workers.

Possible career pathways

You can progress your career from a crop farm worker to another occupation in the agricultural industry. There are many education and training options that can help improve your career pathways based on your interests, skills, and experience.

As you develop new skills there are several related occupations you could consider. You could choose to work across a variety of roles such as:

Visit Your Career and the Australian Apprenticeships pathways websites to find information about course and training options.

More information

  • The Harvest Trail Jobs Board is the best place to find entry level roles in harvest work in Australia. Harvest work is seasonal, and you will find a variety of job opportunities across most Australian states and territories. Depending on the season, you will find jobs ranging from farm labouring to crop picking, planting, pruning, or packing.
  • Visit Workforce Australia for harvest jobs and help to decide if harvest work is right for you.
  • Visit Workforce Australia for current vacancies in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry as a crop farm worker.

Source: Labour Market Insights, Agriculture Forestry and Fishing, Industry Profile Data, Top Employment Occupations, Released 26 February 2023, accessed 7 July 2023. – Return to outlook