Pay Rates

Although satisfying and rewarding, seasonal work can be hard and physically demanding.

You will be up and down ladders, bending and carrying and picking fruit. During harvest, working days can be long and in extreme weather conditions.

Summer months may see workers start very early (6 am) and finish by 2 pm to avoid the heat of the day.


Pay rates will vary between employer and depending on the type of job you do. You can be paid by the hour, or by production (e.g. per tree or per bin).
Employers pay pickers every week or every 2 weeks.
Depending on your employer, workers can be paid an hourly wage or a piecework rate (see explanation below)

The Horticultural Award outlines the minimum pay rates (see number 15) and other entitlements.
Under the Horticulture Award, you should expect to be paid at least:
• $22.61 for an adult full-time employee
• $28.26 for an adult casual employee
Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman pay calculator for more information.

What are Piecework Rates?

A piecework rate is where a worker earns money based on the amount they have picked, packed, pruned or made. Instead of the hours worked, an employer pays the worker for the number of kilograms or bins of produce they pick.

Under the Horticulture Award, there:

  • is a minimum wage guarantee for each day that pieceworkers work
  • are requirements for setting piece rates
  • are requirements for using piece rates.

Full-time, part-time and casual employees who are paid a piece rate under the Horticulture Award have a minimum wage guarantee for each day that they work. This means that for each day that they work, a pieceworker has to be paid at least the ‘hourly rate for the pieceworker’, multiplied by the number of hours worked on that day.

The ‘hourly rate for the pieceworker’ is a new term in the award and means the minimum hourly rate for the pieceworker’s classification level. For casual employees, this includes the 25% casual loading.

If the pieceworker would earn more than the minimum wage guarantee for their day’s work under the piece rate, they have to be paid that higher amount.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Horticulture showcase for more information.

We recommend that you discuss your pay rate with your employer before commencing work.


Some growers offer a range of accommodation options eg. onsite rooms, caravans and camping facilities.

Shared kitchens and laundries are sometimes also available and you should check with your employer on what charges are involved to use the facilities offered.

Other options include local caravan parks and backpacker hostels.


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Fruit Growers Victoria Ltd
8-10 Wheeler Street,
Shepparton Vic 3630

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P: (03) 5825 3700