Jobs in the Wool Industry are generally concerned with the shearing, sorting and buying or selling of sheep fleece.
There are several different jobs within the wool industry; the most obvious one being shearing. Wool Handlers are needed to pick up and grade the wool, Wool Classers then sort wool into specific categories before Wool Buyers assess and value the wool.
Types of Jobs:
- Wool Handler (Rouseabout)
- Wool Classer
- Wool Buyer
Is it for me?
If you like working with sheep, are fit and active and don't mind working in what can be sometimes dirty and messy conditions, working as a Shearer or a Handler could be for you. If you enjoy the business side of farming and are interested in sales and marketing, you may enjoy a career as a Wool Buyer.
How to get there:
Skills are often learned on the job if you're working in the shed - but courses are available through training institutions such as Primary ITO. To work as a Wool Buyer you may need a Certificate or Diploma in Wool Science or even a Bachelor of Commerce.
People that work in the shed will often start around 7am and work for 8-9 hours; there will sometimes be days off if it's raining. The busy seasons for shearing are normally November to March and July to September. During the peak season a Wool Buyer may work long hours and weekends but will generally work normal business hours at other times of the year.
Chance of employment:
There are high chances of employment in the sheds during the busy seasons. It can be very hard to secure a job as a wool buyer however.
A shearer will generally earn around $145 for every 100 sheep they shear. Depending on experience a shearer may shear between 200-500 sheep a day. A Wool Handler earns anywhere between minimum wage and $20 an hour. A Buyer's pay will vary between $30,000 to over $100,000 depending on their experience and the nature of their business if they're self-employed.