Shearers remove wool and hair from a range of animals including sheep, goats and alpacas.
Where shearers are employed
Shearers work in a team and may be responsible to an overseer or shearing contractor. Shearers can also be self-employed and work on properties usually located in country areas. They are paid according to the number of sheep they shear and crutch. Shearers can develop their skills to improve earnings and may progress to shed management, wool classing or other areas of the wool industry.
Employment is not as seasonal as it once was. Work is usually available throughout the year in most states, with peak demand being in spring and autumn.
Full-time shearers in South Australia generally earn between $600 and $1,249 per week.
In 2011 there were 301 people employed full-time as shearers in South Australia, compared with 367 in 2006.
How to become one
You can work as a shearer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. However, entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in shearing. You can also become a shearer through a traineeship in shearing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require year 10. For more information see traineeships.
Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
See courses related to this occupation.
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