Harvesting Labourers

Occupation:Harvesting Labourers
Category:Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

About the job

Nature of work:

Harvesting labourers assist other farm workers to harvest, sort and pack crops.

Job duties:
Harvesting labourers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Pick row and orchard crops.
  • Sort, weigh and pack fruit and vegetables at the farm.
  • Load, unload and transfer crates, supplies, farm produce and products for transport.
  • Clean up racks, trays and growing, producing and packing areas
Sample job titles:
  • apple picker
  • berry picker
  • fruit harvesting labourer
  • fruit or vegetable picker
  • fruit packer - farm
  • harvest hand
  • harvesting labourer
  • vegetable packer - farm

To work in these jobs, you should have good health, physical stamina, and strength. Agility, coordination, and mechanical aptitude would be helpful. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements:
  • There are no specific education or training requirements.
Other considerations:

Most workers in these jobs work for part of the year and typically earn less than half the yearly income of employees who work for the whole year. Wages will vary according to the specific type of work performed, and annual incomes of many workers in these jobs are relatively low. Harvesting labourers are often exposed to harsh weather conditions. The physical demands of this work may make it difficult for people to stay in these jobs for a long time. Progression to other farm worker positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. However, competition for positions may be low due to few qualified jobseekers. 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 (yet overall job prospects are still considered good due to other factors). 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. Harvesting Labourers most commonly work full-time hours. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common.

The median employment income for 10% of Harvesting Labourers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $. 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
Harvesting Labourers125declineN/AHigh
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $12.15
Maximum: $15.79
Minimum: $503
Median: $7,744
Maximum: $22,830
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
Harvesting LabourersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
Percent employed full-time81%84%
Percent self-employed9%22%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentHarvesting LabourersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape BretonN/Ax13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley57%$9,19713%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeHarvesting LabourersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4045
GenderHarvesting LabourersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
EducationHarvesting LabourersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school44.9%$11,45934.0%$14,445
High school28.6%$11,23431.5%$14,229
Trades certificate8.2%$18,50614.0%$19,107
College certificate or diploma8.2%$20,71814.3%$21,289
University certificate or diplomaN/A$13,8591.1%$17,641
Bachelor's degree8.2%$12,5134.3%$15,980
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.3%$17,206
Master's degreeN/Ax0.4%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/AxN/AN/A
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.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Agricultural Institute of Canada
Suite 320, 176 Gloucester Street
Ottawa, ON K2P 0A6
Tel: (613) 232-9459
Fax: (613) 594-5190

Training Paths & Education

There is no information to display in this section
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.