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
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
An interest in animal welfare
Good organisation and communication skills
Able to make accurate observations
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.
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
Feeding cattle livestock
Other Jackaroo/ Jillaroo Traineeships In 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
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.
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
Do yard work
Trim a few sheep
Gather the livestock on horseback
Perform simple household tasks such as assisting in the kitchen
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:
Bush survival skills
Motorbike training and maintenance
Chainsaw sessions and maintenance
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:
Saddle up horses
Build yards and fences
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.
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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