Harvesting Labourers

(NOC 8611)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

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

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Decline sharply employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate -10 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

  • Estimate -415 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 355 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Overall, this occupation has not been severely impacted by the pandemic, where the food supply is considered an essential service. Due to a chronic shortage of local workers in this occupation, many employers hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs). At the outset of the pandemic, the closure of the Canadian border created uncertainty for employers and resulted in some delays and complications in international hiring. TFWs were eventually allowed to enter the country, though some employers may have ended up with a smaller complement of staff than usual. Living quarters provided to harvesting labourers are subject to physical distancing and heightened sanitization requirements.

Many employers experience consistent difficulty in finding enough harvesting labourers for peak season. Jobseekers interested in this occupation should be able to find employment with ease. Positions are mainly found in the Annapolis Valley region. The shortage of workers may become more severe in future years, as seniors currently make up much of the local labour supply for some employers. As these workers retire, a larger share of employment will likely need to be sourced from the TFW program. Physically demanding conditions, low wages and the seasonal nature of this occupation contribute to the lack of supply of labour. Consolidation of farms and the automation of tasks over time can gradually reduce the demand for labourers. However, two major crops in the Annapolis Valley—apples and the rapidly expanding vineyard sector—remain labour intensive.

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$14.00

Median

$15.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$503

Minimum

$7,744

Median

$22,830

Maximum

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$24.84

Median

$32.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,009

Minimum

$23,520

Median

$87,170

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

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

Job duties

Harvesting labourers:

  • 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 sort and pack crops.

Sample job titles

  • apple picker
  • berry picker
  • fruit harvesting labourer
  • fruit or vegetable picker
  • fruit packer - farm
  • harvest hand
  • harvesting labourer
  • vegetable packer - farm

Skills

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.

By the numbers

Quick look

360

employed in 2016

61.1%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

45.8%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
54.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40.3

median age

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

14,665

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

20.0%

self employed

15.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

56.2%

Annapolis Valley

27.4%

North Shore

11.0%

Southern

5.5%

Halifax

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

What is the age of Employment?

39.0%

15-24

19.0%

55-64

14.0%

35-44

13.0%

65+

10.0%

45-54

6.0%

25-34

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

20.7%

45-54

19.8%

15-24

19.2%

55-64

16.2%

35-44

14.8%

25-34

Top levels of education

52.1%

Less than high school

$8,938 median annual income
22.5%

High school

$6,919 median annual income
8.5%

College Diploma

N/A
8.5%

Bachelor

N/A
7.0%

Apprenticeship

N/A

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

35.7%

Less than high school

$23,463 median annual income
30.8%

High school

$19,301 median annual income
13.7%

College Diploma

$29,551 median annual income
13.4%

Apprenticeship

$31,535 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor

$17,956 median annual income

Education & training

There is no information to display in this section

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Agricultural Institute of Canada
Suite 320, 176 Gloucester Street
Ottawa, ON K2P 0A6
Tel: (613) 232-9459
Fax: (613) 594-5190

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.