careers.novascotia.ca

General Farm Workers

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NOC:8431
Occupation:General Farm Workers
Category:Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

About the job

Nature of work:

General farm workers plant, cultivate, and harvest crops; raise livestock and poultry; and maintain and repair farm equipment and buildings. This group includes operators of farm machinery. General farm workers are employed on crop, livestock, fruit and vegetable, and specialty farms.

Job duties:
General farm workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Plant, fertilize, cultivate, spray, irrigate and harvest crops.
  • Feed and tend livestock and poultry.
  • Milk cows.
  • Operate and maintain farm machinery and equipment.
  • Detect disease and health problems in crops, livestock and poultry.
  • Examine produce for quality and prepare for market.
  • Set and monitor water lines, air flow and temperature in barns, pens and chicken coops.
  • Clean stables, barns, barnyards and pens.

General farm workers can become specialized in a particular type of crop or livestock production through experience.

Sample job titles:
  • beekeeping technician
  • egg grader
  • farm equipment operator
  • farm labourer
  • farm worker
  • field and vegetable crop labourer
  • hatchery worker
  • livestock labourer
  • vineyard worker
Skills:

For this type of work, you should enjoy working outdoors. You should have good health, physical stamina, and strength. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements:
  • There is no specific education or training requirements. However, a college certificate or specialized courses related to farming, such as farm equipment mechanics, agricultural welding, tree pruning and pesticide application, are available.
  • A course or certificate in first aid may be required.
Other considerations:

Basic farm knowledge, usually obtained from working on a family farm, may be required for employment. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Limited

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. However, jobseekers may face some competition for those positions. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. General Farm Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common.

The median employment income for 30% of General Farm Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $30,938. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
General Farm Workers1,990decline15High
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $13.00
Maximum: $20.30
Minimum: $907
Median: $12,859
Maximum: $41,110
Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining14,665Decline slightly910High
Minimum: $10.85
Median: $16.00
Maximum: $31.88
Minimum: $4,009
Median: $23,520
Maximum: $87,170
General Farm WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
Percent employed full-time73%84%
Percent self-employed1%22%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentGeneral Farm WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern19%$15,55512%$30,581
Northern30%$16,08516%$33,660
Cape Breton5%$18,66913%$32,974
Halifax9%$15,82647%$41,209
Annapolis Valley37%$16,88013%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeGeneral Farm WorkersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
15-2421%x
25-3413%8%
35-4416%19%
45-5417%42%
55-6422%26%
65+10%4%
Median Age3845
GenderGeneral Farm WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
Female31%15%
Male69%85%
EducationGeneral Farm WorkersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school35.8%$9,10734.0%$14,445
High school34.3%$13,92831.5%$14,229
Trades certificate10.0%$17,26314.0%$19,107
College certificate or diploma11.1%$13,45214.3%$21,289
University certificate or diploma1.9%$17,3721.1%$17,641
Bachelor's degree5.7%$10,4174.3%$15,980
University advanced certificate or diploma0.8%x0.3%$17,206
Master's degree0.4%x0.4%x
Doctorate0.4%x0.1%$10,708
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/AxN/AN/A
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture
PO Box 2223
Halifax, NS B3J 3C4
Tel: (902) 424-4560
Fax: (902) 424-4671
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture
60 Research Drive, Perennia Innovation Park
Bible Hill, NS B3L 2R2
Tel: (902) 893-2293
Fax: (902) 893-7063
info@nsfa-fane.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Agricultural mechanization - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to sell, select, and service agricultural or agribusiness technical equipment and facilities, including computers, specialized software, power units, machinery, equipment structures, and utilities. These programs include courses in agricultural power systems; planning and selecting materials for the construction of support facilities; mechanical practices associated with irrigation and water conservation; erosion control; and agricultural data processing systems.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Agriculture - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general principles and practice of agricultural research and production and that prepares individuals to apply this knowledge to the solution of practical agricultural problems. These programs include courses in basic animal, plant, and soil science; animal husbandry and plant cultivation; soil conservation; and agricultural operations such as farming, ranching, and agricultural business.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Animal/livestock husbandry and production
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to select, breed, care for, process, and market livestock and small farm animals. These programs include courses in basic animal science, animal nutrition, and animal health as applied to various species and breeds; design and operation of housing, feeding, and processing facilities; and related issues of safety, applicable regulations, logistics, and supply.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Landscaping and groundskeeping
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to manage and maintain indoor and/or outdoor ornamental and recreational plants and groundcovers and related conceptual designs established by landscape architects, interior designers, enterprise owners or managers, and individual clients. These programs include courses in applicable principles of horticulture, gardening, plant and soil irrigation and nutrition, turf maintenance, plant maintenance, equipment operation and maintenance, personnel supervision, and purchasing.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Specialized sales, merchandising and marketing operations - Other
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Specialized Sales, Merchandising and Marketing Operations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.