Farm Assistants typically assist the farm owner or manager in a variety of duties concerned with breeding, raising and care of livestock, the growing of crops and other farm activities.

Every day is different; on any given day you could be shifting sheep or cattle between paddocks to comply with pasture management systems; drenching and dipping sheep and cattle to maintain animal health; or even maintaining and repairing buildings, yards, fences and water systems.

Types of Jobs:

  • Shepherd
  • Farm Assistant

Is it for me?

Working as a farm assistant would suit someone who enjoys working outside, likes animals, and doesn't mind getting their hands dirty or sometimes working long or irregular hours.

How to get there:

Useful subjects to take at school are: agriculture, horticulture, workshop technology, maths, English and science

There aren't specific requirements for winning a job as a farm assistant, although you may be required to have your own dogs in certain cases. Working as a farm assistant can be a great start to a career on-farm - often you don't even need experience. Sometimes completing an agricultural course can increase your chance of employment.


Farm Assistants will often start at around 7am and work through to late afternoon or evening; these hours may change depending on the season. Farm Assistants are often required to do some weekend work.

Chances of employment:

Although the number of farms in New Zealand has decreased, the size of farms has increased and there are less people coming through as other job opportunities become available. This means that there are good opportunities for employment on Sheep & Beef farms.


Shepherds or Farm Assistants will generally earn an average salary of $40,000; which may include a benefits package which may include benefits such as houseing, meals, power, petrol and training.

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