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.
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.
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.
Crop workers need to be : hard-working
quality focused with good attention to detail
efficient and practical
able to work as part of a team
able to follow instructions.
Useful experience for crop workers includes :
any work involving physical labour
any outdoor work such as farm work
sports or other outdoor activities.
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.