Wool Classer Kaimāhiti Wūru

Wool classers sort wool into categories. They ensure wool is clean, identified and documented for sale.

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Registration with the New Zealand Wool Classer Association (NZWCA) is preferred by employers. Wool classers who aren't financially registered can't use the NZWCA stamp on bales.

Wool classers may do some or all of the following:

  • sort wool into groups that have uniform colour, length, fault, and fibre diameter, and keep wool breeds separate
  • ensure wool is free from contamination
  • operate and maintain sampling, wool-weighing and wool-blending machinery
  • supervise the pressing and branding of wool bales
  • keep records of wool bales pressed
  • be responsible for woolshed management.

Physical Requirements

Wool classers need to:

  • be reasonably fit
  • have good eyesight
  • have a good sense of touch.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for wool classers includes any work with a shearing gang, such as woolhandling or pressing.

Personal Qualities

Wool classers need to be:

  • practical and fast
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • good at communicating and leading teams
  • well organised and good at record-keeping.


Wool classers need to have knowledge of:

  • wool-evaluation
  • different wool grades and sheep breeds
  • wool-handling and woolshed procedures
  • operating wool presses and other machinery
  • market requirements for wool, and wool industry standards.


Wool classers:

  • work from 7am to 5pm weekdays and fine weekends in the main shearing season
  • work mainly in shearing sheds or in wool stores and wool-cleaning factories
  • work in conditions that may be dirty, dusty, noisy and greasy 
  • may travel long distances to farms.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but agricultural and horticultural science to at least NCEA Level 2 is useful.

Wool Classers can earn around $50-$60 per hour.

Pay for wool classers varies depending on skills, experience and the type of wool classing. 

  • Wool classers are usually paid per fleece, and earn between $50 and $60 an hour, or about $400 per day.

Sources: New Zealand Wool Classers Association, 2019; and Ministry for Primary Industries, 2019.

Wool classers may move into management roles in:

  • wool-buying companies
  • wool-exporting companies
  • large-scale wool product manufacturers.

Wool classers may specialise in classing fine wool or crossbred wool.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a wool classer. However, to be a fine wool classer you need to complete a New Zealand Certificate in Wool Technology (Level 4).

A driver's licence is also useful. 

Wool Classer