Do you want to work as a Shearer?
READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.
RESEARCH: Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.
PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for the career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools, while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 4 March 2022
What is a Shearer?
A Shearer uses special equipment to shear wooly animals (remove their wool or hair) so that the wool can be used commercially.
Animal that can be sheared:
What does a Shearer do?
The Shearer career can be found in the following career categories:
- Farming and Livestock Management
What does a Shearer focus on?
A shearer focuses on the clean and safe shearing of the wooly animals, such as alpaca and sheep.
What are the daily tasks of a Sheep Shearer?
- Herd the animals towards the shearing pen or floor
- Shear the animal
- Assist in sorting the wool
- Keep the work area clean
- Maintain shearing equipment
- Liaise with clients
- Administration and marketing
The working environment of a Shearer
Where does a Shearer work?
Most shearers will work from within a special shearing stall or area where they can easily shear and sort the wool.
Places of Employment –
They can be employed by large sheep farms or research institutions. They may also start their own businesses.
What is the average annual salary of a Shearer?
They can earn a yearly average of US$36,000 per year. Most independent shearers will earn their income per sheep they shear. The income will be different according to experience and country.
Can a Shearer be promoted?
Most Sheep Shearers can be employed where there is an existing hierarchical structure.
Intern > Shearer > Management
What difficulties can a Shearer face?
Shearing an alpaca, goat or sheep can cause the animal to kick and bite.
The work might also entail long hours and working over weekends and holidays.
Future Growth and Possibilities
Overall employment is projected to grow steady at around 8%. The need for independent shearers (those with their own businesses and can travel) has increased.
Which Skills are required by a Shearer?
The skills required for a career as a shearer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Animal handling
- Excellent animal care
- Working with shearing tools
- Good health and physical fitness
- Computer literacy
Which Subjects must I have at School to prepare for this career?
The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.
OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!
What will I need to Study to become a Shearer?
The minimum qualification to become a shearer is a High School Certificate. A few do go on and study more intensive short courses to broaden their knowledge on shearing.
Short Courses –
Short Courses in animal husbandry, sheep physiology, shearing, wool sorting and classing.
Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.
Possible Career Preparation Paths
If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.
Why is planning important?
To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.
Possible Combined Career Paths
It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.
Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):
Stepping Stone Career
Being a Shearer can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).
You can begin as an intern after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.
Some of the possible paths:
Training and apprenticeship
Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform the shearing by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.
In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.
Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert. The more hands on careers, such as shearing might require full apprenticeship.
Join the Shearers Group in the membership Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!
Average level of education of all the people who enter the career
Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations
Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.
Where can I study further?
All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.
See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards the field of farming and shearing.
Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this course? Please click on the red beetle to access the contribution form.
Join the OZT community and Career Group
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a Sheep Shearer.
Members of the Platform have special access to:
- Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
- Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
- Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
- Make friends around the world and share knowledge
- Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!
If you have decided on being a Sheep Shearer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.
If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.
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