Seasonal Fruit Picking Jobs
Everyone enjoys sweet, delicious fruit. Have you ever wondered how fruit gets to your plate so you can enjoy it? A fruit picker plays a major role.
Fruit pickers pluck wild or farmed fruit for packaging. Apples, cherries, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, durians, grapefruits, guavas, limes, papaya, raspberries, cranberries, pineapples, pomegranate, lemons, tangerines, coconuts, pears, peaches, apricots, tomatoes, melon, kiwis, plums, mangoes, bananas, and oranges are all harvested in different seasons and times around the world.
Fruit pickers travel the globe to pursue this job.
Whether it’s endless acres of apple trees, organized vines of grapes, or wildly scattered shrubs of blueberries – the fruit needs picking.
Owners of fields, orchards, and farms hire fruit pickers to pick and pack fruit into boxes, bins, buckets, and baskets so it can be sold for a profit.
Pick your fruit and location. Find work in Australia picking mangoes, harvest apples in the United States, strawberries in Canada, kiwis in New Zealand, pears in the UK, or grapes in France…Fruit is grown all over the world. Seasons vary depending on hemisphere, weather, and climate.
Fruit pickers need to be physically fit. They need to pick up, move, and climb ladders all day to pick apples or hunch low to the ground for strawberries. Fruit pickers start early in the morning and work until late afternoon. They wear sunglasses, gloves, sun hats, boots, and always carry a water bottle. Fatigue and brutal hand cramps are part of this demanding job, but at the end of the day 6 to 8 bins of apples or 50 to 60 buckets of cherries will be proof of hard work.
Fruit pickers must have an eye for fruit and only pick high quality fruit. Any fruits with worms, insects, or bruising won’t sell. After the fruit is picked, it must be placed gently in a container to ensure its safety.
Fruit pickers need to contact specific farms about seasonal fruit picking work. There is no shortage of seasonal work on farms. Pickers do not require special skills. Jobs are available to whoever shows up first. Because of a high turnover rate, there are plenty of jobs available. The only catch is that to legally work in other countries a valid work visa is necessary.
Farms often offer training on how to pick and pack fruit. Be sure to research farms and try to get word of mouth reviews to learn about hiring practices, pay, lifestyle, housing, camping options, and other details. Finding a fruit picking job is an easy task. Farms often offer jobs to nomadic backpackers first.
Backpackers can make a bit of cash to sustain their travel adventures and also meet other world travelers.
The going rate for fruit varies by farm, orchard, region, and country. Most farms pay fruit pickers based on the weight and quality of the fruit they pick – not hourly. A quick, accurate picker can potentially make more money than a novice. At the end of the day, fruit is weighed by the bushel, crate, or bin and wages are paid.
Not many people choose to become fruit pickers as a career. They do it so they can travel, eat as much fruit as they want, and earn some spending cash. A full time year round fruit picker can plan to make about $22,000 per year plus fruit.
Next time you enjoy strawberries on your cereal, lime in your Corona, or apples in your pie, be sure to think of fruit pickers worldwide. If you like fruit, the outdoors, and the world it might be good to try picking for a season.
Quick Facts About Fruit Picker Work
Job Title: Fruit Pickers
Office: Orchards and Farms
Description: Pick fruits and produce during harvest season
Certifications/Education: No formal education required, May need a work visa if working abroad
Necessary Skills: Stamina, Able to work outdoors all day
Potential Employers: Farms, Orchards
Pay: Depends on productivity, location, season. Average $22,000 if year round.