What they do
Wool classers are in charge of grouping fleece into categories including length and thickness, quality, colour, strength and cleanliness.
Wool classers may also work as wool valuers. The job of the wool valuer is to assess or estimate the value of products so these may be sold.
Wool classers are in demand during the shearing season, but must be willing to follow work during the quieter periods.
Most classers work throughout the State - in particular, in the agricultural regions. Most are males but there is nothing to stop interested females entering this field. You can look forward to the prospect of being on your feet for most of the day and having to regularly lift large amounts of wool or skin. Wool Classers are pretty much on the go throughout the day.
Tools and technologies
Sirolan Fleecescan is a laser based product that will test and classify up to 100 fleeces an hour. A COP (Cost of Production) Calculator may also be used to track quality and cost of wool production over a number of years. In general, however, a Wool Classer will rely on their experience and sense of sight and touch to determine wool strength, wool crimp and colour and the overall quality of each fleece.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a wool classer you usually need to undertake a traineeship in wool classing (level 4). The traineeship usually takes nine months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.