How To Become A Jackaroo In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become jackaroos in Australia.


Do you have the physical strength and enjoy working with animals on a farm or ranch? If yes, a career as a Jackaroo could be worth exploring.


Jackaroos, called "station hands, " perform daily cattle or sheep station tasks. These include feeding, caring for animals, operating and maintaining farming and station equipment, and clerical work.


There is no formal education to become a Jackaroo. However, undertaking a traineeship in agriculture or rural operations can improve your entry into this role.


If you dream about living an authentic lifestyle in the outback and want to pursue a career as a Jackaroo, this blog is for you. Find out who a jackaroo is, what he does, where he works, his skillset, how much he earns, and what it takes to become one in Australia.



1. What Is A Jackaroo?


Jackaroos and jillaroos are energetic, disciplined, and trained people passionate about working in rural industries. 


They work on sheep and cattle stations, performing various daily operations. These involve caring for livestock, using and maintaining farming and station equipment, performing farm work, and administrative tasks.



2. What Does A Jackaroo Do?


Being a station hand, Jackaroos carry out different types of tasks on cattle or sheep stations, such as:


  • Take care of the health of livestock and treat any minor injuries and ailments

  • Repair and maintain station equipment

  • Operate vehicles and heavy farming machinery

  • Examine, repair, or replace water troughs, fences, and animal yards on the station

  • Do farming work such as haymaking and crop cultivation 

  • Muster on a motorbike or horseback

  • Perform admin and clerical tasks

  • Perform light household tasks



3. Jackaroo Skills


You need the following skills to work and excel as a jackaroo or jillaroo:


  • Love for the country, farming, animals, and terrestrial living 

  • Hard-working

  • Willingness to learn

  • Good team player 

  • Good knowledge of farming and farming equipment

  • Confident and patient while working with animals

  • Enjoy working outdoors 

  • Like being an early riser 

  • Physically fitness to undertake hands-on and heavy work

  • Resilience

  • An interest in animal welfare

  • Good organisation and communication skills

  • Able to make accurate observations

  • Mechanical aptitude

  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

  • Comfortable working in isolation and with limited public contact

  • Not allergic to animals



4. Jackaroo/Jillaroo Qualification In Australia


You do not need formal qualifications to work as a jackaroo or jillaroo, as most employers provide on-the-job training to new hires. 


However, completing a TAFE and Vocational Courses in Agriculture or Rural Operations would improve your entry into this profession.


The other way to become a Jackaroo or Jillaroo is to complete a traineeship in Agriculture or Rural Operations. It equips you with theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills to work in this role.



5. Steps To Become An Jackaroo/Jillaroo In Australia


If you are interested in becoming a Jillaroo/Jackaroo, completing the following steps in order will help you reach your goals faster:



Step 1: Complete Your Year 10 Education


You don't need any qualifications or training to work in this role. Still, employers generally prefer candidates who have completed relevant traineeship or Vocational courses.


You will need to complete your Year 10 education or equivalent.



Step 2: Complete Relevant Vocational Courses


Once you have your secondary school certificate, obtain certification in agriculture, rural operations, or a similar field. 


Many TAFE colleges and other RTO conduct courses that help develop knowledge and practical skills to perform job duties effectively.


List of recommended entry-level courses to kickstart your career:



Certificate II in Agriculture – TAFE QLD


The course comprises varying components that teach the skills to perform the following activities effectively:


  • Muster and move animals

  • Use and maintain equipment and machinery

  • Help with the breeding

  • Take care of animals

  • Create a sustainable environment

  • Perform general farm operations like cropping 



Certificate III in Agriculture – TAFE QLD


This course teaches advanced skills to prepare you to work responsibly as a senior farm hand in cropping, livestock, or mixed-enterprise. 


Moreover, you learn the most sought skills employers look for in a candidate to innovate the agricultural sector.



Certificate II in Rural Operations – Charles Darwin University


This qualification leads you to a career in industries in rural and regional Australia. You can pursue a career in various specialisations based on the units you choose to study. These include livestock, farming, tourism, local government, hospitality, transport, community services, construction, IT, and metals.



Certificate III in Rural Operations – Swinburne University of Technology (TAFE)


The course provides training, knowledge, and skills relevant to operating successfully and safely in horticulture, agriculture, land conservation, and management industries.


After completion, graduates can work as crew members in industries operating in outdoor land management, government land management, environmental monitoring, pest and weed control, and water organisations. 


There are opportunities to work independently as a project firefighter, nursery worker, parks worker, and outdoor team leader. 



Step 2: Complete A Traineeship In Agriculture


You can also become a Jackaroo/Jillaroo by undertaking a traineeship in agriculture (level II or III) or rural operations (level II or III). The duration of a traineeship is between 12 and 18 months.


An apprenticeship or traineeship is a formal training contract between you and the employer. As part of it, you undertake structured training with a registered training provider and learn practical on-the-job skills that leads towards a nationally recognised qualification.


You can do a traineeship or an apprenticeship if you are a school leaver wishing for a career change or re-entering the workforce. Level II traineeships are also an option while studying in a school. You can apply for a paid traineeship or apprenticeship and earn while you work and learn.


LordCattle is a recognised business operating in the land and grazing industry for more than 39 years. They offer a friendly and encouraging working environment to help trainees learn and develop the skills linked to the Rural Industry of Australia.


Their Jackaroo/Jillaroo training program aims to develop skills and knowledge in the following areas:


  • Water structure and maintenance

  • Basic fencing skills

  • Machinery maintenance and welding

  • Basic machinery and equipment operation skills

  • Mustering and yarding of livestock

  • Identify livestock

  • Feeding cattle livestock



Other Jackaroo/ Jillaroo Traineeships In Australia



Jackaroo Jillaroo School Australia


Jackaroo Schools across Australia provide hands-on training to prepare willing Jackaroos and Jillaroos on organic farms.


Highlights of the traineeship program:


  • A practical Hands-on workshop

  • Accommodation available

  • Provided with a multi-sitter station

  • Special training session to deal with horses includes horse riding, horse-breaking, swimming with horses, handling foals, horseshoeing, cleaning hooves, grooming horses, removing saddles, and taking care of young horses at the stable.

  • The minimum age for participants is 18 years old. However, children aged 12 years and more can also participate with a guardian.



Year13 Jackaroo Gap Year Program


This program provides an opportunity for aspiring Jackaroos/Jillaroos to work directly on outback farms and get a stipend, meals, and accommodation in return. 


It is one of the best jackaroo jobs with no experience that trains beginners on real working farms, vineyards, cattle stations, ranches, and farms. You will get all the required training and information to join the herd, such as equipment, supplies, and clothing.


Your daily activities as a trainee include the following:


  • Feed and water the sheep, horses, and cattle

  • Brand some cattle

  • Fix horseshoes and saddles

  • Groom different body parts of the horse

  • Build fences 

  • Do yard work 

  • Trim a few sheep 

  • Gather the livestock on horseback 

  • Perform simple household tasks such as assisting in the kitchen  



Outback Experience Training Course


Whether you want to become a Jackaroo or Jillaroo or looking for a distinctive Australian outback experience, you need to study a course. Completing a 5-day training course with Outback Experience gives you the necessary skills to gain guaranteed employment in the Australian rural sector.


The courses are designed for locals and backpackers to build a 'hands-on' experience that combines adventure, fun, and real-life experience.


After completing this training course, you can work in various roles such as station hands, jackaroos, stockmen, jillaroos, tractor drivers, farm hands, contract fencing, mustering, truck drivers, bore man, and other positions.


Things you can expect from this training program:


  • Animal Husbandry

  • Horse Riding

  • Bush survival skills

  • Motorbike training and maintenance

  • Fencing

  • Chainsaw sessions and maintenance

  • Driving tractors

  • Mustering Cattle

  • Reversing trailers



Jillaroo Courses Black Mountain Hideaway


If you fancy becoming a Jackaroo/Jillaroo, this 5-day certificate program is all you need to fulfil your dream. It is for beginners and experienced riders. The course teaches essential and interesting horsemanship ideals while experiencing Australian farm life.


During the training, you stay in cabins, tents, or bunkhouses on the farm in Black Mountain Hideaway and develop skills related to the following:


  • Horse-riding

  • Horse grooming 

  • Saddle up horses

  • Build yards and fences

  • Bush skills

  • Feed, and maintain horses 

  • Work with cattle (mustering, yarding, etc.)

  • Repair and maintain tack



6. Where Does A Jillaroo/ Jackaroo Work?


Jackaroos or Jillaroos work for sheep or cattle station owners to perform various day-to-day activities. These may include muster on horseback or motorbike, taking care of livestock, maintaining the station, farming equipment and doing farm work and admin duties.



7. Work Conditions Of Jackaroos/Jillaroos


Jillaroo in Australia spends most of their time outdoors performing activities on outback farms, ranches, and sheep and cattle stations. They work in all types of weather and dusty and dirty surroundings.


Jackaroos and jillaroos usually live in shared accommodations or the owner's or manager's house. They usually start their work early morning and work long hours, including late evenings, holidays and weekends.


The type of work may be seasonal. Jackaroos operate a wide range of farming hand tools and machinery.



8. Job Outlook Of Jackaroos In Australia


Australia has the natural habitat, culture, and some of the world's most extensive sheep and cattle stations to meet the requirements of Jackaroos. Its vast outbacks present an opportunity for farming and animal agriculture.


Moreover, the country offers exposure to the world and scope to educate willing students to learn the skill of living in rural areas.


The demand for the occupation varies based on seasonality and international export markets. Based on the Australian Government's Job Outlook service, the number of people working as general farm hands grew strongly over the last five years.


As a popular destination for training and working as a stockman/ stockwoman, the country expects stable future growth for competent workers in rural companies.


Moreover, working in this occupation is not everyone's cup of tea. Only those who exhibit character and resilience are suited for this role. Thus, the opportunities may continue for those keen to pursue it as a career.



9. How Much Does A Jackaroo Earn In Australia?


According to Pay Scale, the average salary for a Jackaroo in Australia is AU $65,910 per year.



10. Conclusion


Being a Jackaroo or Jillaroo is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things you will ever do. 


The training is intense but full of fun. You experience the outback culture, beautiful countryside and scenery, and hospitality of rural people. It includes learning practical hands-on skills to launch a career in animal care, farm care, or animal husbandry. 


If you want to work as a Jackaroo and get a feel of life on the ranches, then training courses are the best ways to make that happen.


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