Type of work

There is a variety of work in orchards and packhouses some roles require more fitness and strength than others.

Many roles do not require experience as training is provided, however some roles require more fitness and strength than others.



Fruit pickers take fruit off trees, meeting certain size, colour, ripeness and quality standards. Fruit is picked into buckets that are strapped to the shoulders of the workers. The buckets are then emptied into fruit bins and a quality controller or orchard supervisor evaluates the work.

Pickers must be fit and have good vision. The work may involve use and maneuvering of ladders or elevated work platforms.

Fruit picking is usually paid on a piece work basis (price per bin or bucket).  Piece rates can vary according to the specific fruit type. The more difficult the work the higher the rate. Many employers also offer bucket/bin bonuses and/or end of season bonuses.

Other in orchard support roles:

Bucket shifters, truck and tractor drivers, bird scarers, irrigation
maintenance and supervision of pickers.

These roles are paid on an hourly rate. 



Tray fillers / packers - work in the packhouse, watching for defects in the fruit and making sure the packed product is presented well.

Labellers - work in the packhouse labelling packed fruit for shipment. Using computer-controlled equipment they ensure the traceability of packed fruit to market requirements.

Box stackers - work in the packhouse stacking packed boxes of fruit. This work involves plenty of heavy lifting so stackers must be strong and fit.

Pallet strappers - secure the loads (with tape or plastic wrap) according to the requirements of the shippers.

Cool store personnel - work in the packhouse cool stores keeping records of stock movements. Accuracy and numeracy are required.

Other packhouse support roles:

These include forklift drivers, cleaners and quality controllers. 

Pack house hourly rates vary, starting at minimum wage and go up to $27 per hour for skilled roles such as forklift drivers or quality control.


Find out more

What to expect?  Skills   FAQs