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Shearing Contractor

Shearing contractors are employed by farmers to shear animals (usually sheep) and organise the shearing gang.


Tasks & duties

Shearing contractors may do some or all of the following:

  • discuss shearing contracts with farmers
  • arrange transport, food and accommodation for the shearing gangs
  • meet with the ganger (head shearer) to make sure the shearing gang is operating smoothly
  • check the telephone answering machine regularly for messages from farmers
  • keep records of contracts
  • pay the shearing gang
  • train shearers and wool handlers
  • shear sheep


Skills & knowledge

Shearing contractors need to have:

  • basic business skills such as maths and accounting
  • good communication and negotiation skills
  • the ability to organise and lead people
  • knowledge of taxes, ACC costs and wage rates, so they know what to charge farmers
  • knowledge of how to shear sheep


Knowing basic first aid, and how a farm operates may also be useful.


Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements to become a shearing contractor. Most shearing contractors work as a shearer first, and may do a business course.


Tertiary education

Shearing courses are available through the Agriculture Industry Training Organisation and Tectra Ltd.


Training on the job

Most skills are gained on the job. Shearing training courses are available, although they focus on shearing rather than running a business.


Useful experience

Useful experience for shearing contractors includes:

  • shearing or working in a shearing gang
  • being self-employed or helping to run a small business
  • farm work



Wool Harvesting

From just a job on you tube


Related courses

Wool and Fibre Harvesting


For more information, please refer to Career Services.

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