Shearers harvest wool from sheep using power-driven handpieces that are fitted with combs and cutters.
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 VET qualification in shearing. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a shearer through a traineeship in Shearing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Shearers may perform the following tasks:
Expedition shearers work in a team and may be responsible to an overseer or shearing contractor. These shearers travel long distances from property to property to work. Others may work within their own district and travel daily to the shearing shed, returning to their own homes each day. Accommodation is usually provided in shearers' quarters either on the property or in a nearby town. Shearers supply their own work clothes, combs and cutters.
Shearers can be self-employed or work in shearing teams 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.