Crop Worker
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
3d ago

Pay for crop workers varies depending on what they do and where they work.

  • New crop workers usually start on the minimum wage.
  • Crop workers with two to three years' experience may earn between $18 and $20 an hour.
  • Crop workers who supervise others usually earn between $20 to $25 an hour.
  • Fruit and vegetable pickers may be paid by how much they pick.

    Sources : Horticulture New Zealand and Pick NZ, 2018.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Crop workers may do some or all of the following :

  • prepare soil for planting
  • plant crops such as grains, fruit, mushrooms, nuts or vegetables
  • maintain crops, which may involve weeding, spraying, pruning, thinning, fertilising and watering
  • check crops for quality
  • control pests and diseases
  • pick, sort and pack crops
  • operate vehicles and machinery, such as forklifts, hydraladas, tractors and motorbikes
  • assist with general maintenance of buildings, fences and other structures.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Crop workers need to have knowledge of :

  • growing and harvesting crops
  • crop diseases, weeds and pests and how to control them
  • local climate and weather conditions
  • food safety, market certification and quality requirements
  • applying agricultural fertilisers and chemicals
  • general maintenance and basic mechanics
  • assessing fruit or vegetables for ripeness, damage, or size.
  • Crop workers :

  • may start work early in the mornings or in the evening
  • may work long or irregular hours during harvesting
  • work on farms, orchards and vineyards, or in hothouses
  • work outside in most weather conditions
  • may have to travel to follow seasonal work.
  • Entry requirements

    There are no specific requirements to become a crop worker. However, horticultural knowledge or experience is useful.

    Some employers support crop workers to gain horticulture qualifications on the job.

    Secondary education

    There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a crop worker. However, agriculture and horticulture and biology are useful.

    Year 11-12 students can learn more about the horticulture industry and earn unit standards towards a National Certificate in Agriculture, or Horticulture (Level 1 or 2) with the Trades Academy.

    Year 12-13 students can learn more about the horticulture industry and earn NCEA unit standards through the Primary ITO Gateway programme.

    Personal requirements

    Crop workers need to be :

  • reliable
  • quality focused with good attention to detail
  • efficient and practical
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to follow instructions.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for crop workers includes :

  • gardening work
  • supermarket work
  • any work involving physical labour
  • any outdoor work such as farm work
  • sports or other outdoor activities.
  • Physical requirements

    Crop workers need to be reasonably fit, with strong arms and backs, as they may have to do long periods of physical work.

    They should not have any allergies to plants, pollen, chemicals or fertilisers.

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