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Summary of occupation

Jackaroos/Jillaroos are employed by cattle or sheep station owners to perform various activities associated with the day-to-day operations of a cattle station. These may include mustering on motorbike or horseback, caring for livestock, maintaining and repairing station equipment, using and maintaining farming equipment, performing farm work associated with crops, as well as clerical and administrative tasks.

ANZSCO description: Jackaroo/Jillaroos carry out a range of activities on a cattle or sheep station.
Alternative names: Farm Worker, Livestock Farm Worker, Station Worker, Stockman
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A Jackaroo/Jillaroo needs:

  • to enjoy working outside in all kinds of weather
  • good communication and organisational skills
  • to be able to undertake manual, physical work
  • to be comfortable working with animals and interested in their welfare
  • a mechanical aptitude and able to make accurate observations
  • to be able to handle living in isolation.
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Working conditions

A Jackaroo/Jillaroo largely works outside in all kinds of weather conditions and usually starts work early in the morning. They generally work long hours. They may be required to live in shared accommodation on a station property.

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Salary details

The amount a jackeroo/jillaroo can earn varies greatly, depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a jackeroo/jillaroo develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase. Basic board and food may also be provided by an employer.

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Tools and technologies

Jackaroos/Jillaroos may need to be proficient with a wide range of farming machinery and hand tools. It is also an advantage if they have the ability to maintain or repair farming machinery.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a jackaroo/jillaroo without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in agriculture or rural operations.

The Certificate II and Certificate III in Agriculture, and the Certificate II and Certificate III in Rural Operations are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The assistant cattle farm hand, rural operations worker, cattle station hand and rural operations senior farmhand traineeships take 12 to 18 months to complete. The assistant cattle farm hand and rural operations worker traineeships are available as school-based traineeships.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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