Do you love the outdoors and spending time in nature? Are you looking for fun seasonal work that will make you money during the summer? If so, fruit picking jobs in Canada may be perfect for you!
Every year, Canadians from all across the country and foreign workers flock to fruit picking farms to help harvest delicious fruit.
Not only is it a great way to spend your summer days and make extra money, but it’s also a fun way to meet new people from all over the world, as many fruit picking jobs attract workers from many different countries.
So if you’re looking for an exciting new adventure, consider fruit picking jobs in Canada.
You might be interested:
Which Fruits are Available to Pick in Canada and When?
Depending on the time of year, you can find different kinds of fruit to pick in Canada.
In the spring, rhubarb and cherries are one of the first fruits to come into the season.
If you’re in British Columbia, you can head to the Okanagan Valley to start cherry picking as early as May.
As summer approaches, strawberries become ripe for picking all across Canada.
In July and August, most of the fresh produce kicks into gear. Summer is especially great for picking raspberries, and apricots, while peaches, nectarines and plums start to appear closer to late summer and early fall.
As fall arrives, apples become the main fruit to pick. There are many different varieties of apples in Canada – from the classic Granny Smith and Gala to the more unique Honeycrisp and Fuji. Pears, pumpkins and grapes are also in season in the fall.
What are the Benefits of Fruit Picking in Canada?
Fruit picking is a great way to earn some extra money and spend time outdoors during the summer months.
The work setting is not crazy demanding, and sometimes you can often choose your own hours as long as you pick the requested amount.
Plus, there’s nothing quite like eating fresh fruit that you’ve picked yourself!
Another benefit is meeting new people. Together, you can explore the country and earn some money whilst on your fruit picking adventure.
Additionally, some orchards or farms offer on site housing options so you save on your rent.
Apple Picking in Canada
Personally, we spent an amazing month fruit picking at an organic apple orchard in the beautiful Okanagan region in BC.
Picture an epic view of the Okanagan valley. The orchard even had a little farm with sheep and chickens.
This region of Canada is popular for spectacular orchards and wineries.
We loved spending our free time swimming in the lakes, exploring the area and roaming the local farmer’s markets.
We were picking mostly gala apples, and the season lasted from September until October.
Here are some apple orchards which you can contact to inquire about apple picking jobs:
How and Where to Find Fruit Picking Jobs in Canada?
With so many fruit farms located across Canada, there’s no shortage of opportunities. But how do you go about finding a fruit picking job?
The best place to start is by searching online. There are several websites that list fruit picking jobs in Canada including:
Online Job Boards
Contact Local Fruit Farms Canada
Another common way to find fruit picking work is to contact local farms directly and inquire about opportunities. Many farms will list job postings on their websites, or you can give them a call to ask about seasonal positions.
You can also check with your local farm gate market or fruit & veg stand, as they may have information on farm jobs in your area.
Here are a few fruit farm website listings to get you started:
Fruit Farms Canada
- BC Cherry Association
- Jealous Fruits Recruitment
- Carcajou Fruit
- BC Fruit Grower Association
- Old Tower Farm
- Curlew Orchard
Nova Scotia farms
- Millen Farms
- Apple Lane Farm
- Dempsey Corner Orchard
- South Shore Farms
- Ocean Crisp Apples
- Vista Bella Farm
Job Resource Centers
You could also visit a job resource center in the local area.
In the job resource centers, you can find all the job listings and tips on where to find a fruit picking job in the specific local area.
Apart from that, there are Facebook groups such as Okanagan Pickers.
We found an apple-picking job in Okanagan, which was advertised on one of the major Canadian job board work sites – Indeed. And then googled the orchard and contacted the farm directly.
If you visit the Okanagan region anytime from May to October, you will definitely find plenty of fruit picking job opportunities as the valley is full of orchards and vineyards.
Once you’ve found a few potential opportunities, it’s important to do your research before applying. Make sure to read reviews of the farm (if available) and contact them directly to ask any questions you may have. This will help you get a better sense of what the job will entail and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
How Much Do Fruit Pickers Make in Canada?
In Canada, fruit pickers earn somewhere between CA$13 and CA$20 per hour. Experienced workers who can also operate the orchard or farm machinery and equipment typically can earn towards the higher end of that range.
If you’re interested in fruit picking jobs in Canada, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Firstly, most fruit picking jobs are seasonal, so they won’t last the whole year.
Secondly, you’ll need to have a valid work permit if you’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
And thirdly, while wages vary depending on the farm, type of fruit, location and the experience level of the picker, you can expect to earn minimum wage or slightly above.
Fruit pickers usually get paid by hourly rate or by the quantity of fruit being picked.
If the payment is based on piece work, your salary will depend on how much fruit you pick. In other words, how much hard work you’re willing to put in directly correlates with earning potential and commissions.
Each employer has to pay you at least minimum wage regardless of how much you’ve picked.
You can expect a higher pay rate in BC or Ontario, while Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland) is on the lower end. It’s simply because the minimum wage is higher in these provinces.
What to Expect From Your Workday as a Fruit Picker in Canada?
The process of fruit picking generally includes walking along rows of fruit trees or vines and gently shaking or pulling the fruit from the plant.
Depending on the type of fruit being picked, you may also use ladders or mechanical lift devices.
Fruit picking is physically demanding. You’ll be outside in the hot sun all day, and you’ll need to be able to carry heavy boxes of fruit.
Working hours can be irregular as they depend on weather and fruit maturity.
At the peak of the season, the hours can be long. You may have to start early in the morning or work until night to ensure all the fruit is harvested before it spoils, including weekends. But don’t let that discourage you.
We only had a few long days so we had more than enough time to explore the area. Plus after the harvest ended, we had money to go on a road trip along West Coast in our van.
All things considered, fruit picking can be a fun and rewarding experience if you enjoy being outdoors and working with your hands.
If you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can earn some decent money fruit picking while enjoying the Canadian outdoors.
Picture working on estate winery or berry picking in rural area.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Fruit Picker in Canada?
Most fruit picking jobs require workers to be able to lift at least 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and to work long hours outdoors.
Fruit picking jobs are generally straightforward and often don’t require prior experience. Most farms will employ and provide on-the-job training for their harvesting.
Fruit picking is physically demanding. It involves repetivie movements like bending, squatting or climbing ladder, so employers prefer to employ fit and healthy individuals.
Apart from that, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid work permit if you’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
It’s a good idea to check a job description to see if you fit the requirements.
Fruit Picking Jobs in Canada for Foreigners
How to Get a Work Permit?
If you want to work fruit picking jobs in Canada as a foreign worker, you must obtain a work permit. The process of applying for a work permit can be complex, so it’s important to understand the requirements before you begin.
If you need assistance with the visa process, you can hire an immigration consultant.
There are a few options available if you want to work in Canada temporarily.
1. IEC working holiday visa program
If you’re from a country that has a working holiday agreement with Canada then you may be eligible for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
This program allows young people between 18 and 35 to travel and work in Canada for up to two years. This type of program is ideal because you don’t need a job offer to qualify.
If your application is approved, you’ll receive an open work permit. This means that the work permit is not linked to any specific employer. To find out more about this option, click here.
2. Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
TFWP is a government initiative that allows businesses to bring workers from other countries into Canada for short-term employment purposes.
This program is meant to fill gaps in the Canadian labor market by allowing company to hire international workers when local talent is either not available or in high demand.
If you’re not eligible for the IEC program, a temporary work permit could be another alternative. However, to be eligible for a temporary work permit, you must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer to obtain visa sponsorship.
The most important requirement for obtaining temporary foreign worker permits is an LMIA, which is a document that certifies there are no qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents within Canada who could do this job.
3. Seasonal Agricultural Work Program Canada (SAWP)
SAWP is a government-run program that allows agricultural employers in Canada to hire temporary foreign workers from certain countries to fill seasonal labor shortages.
While the SAWP program is open to workers from several different countries, the most common participants are citizens of Mexico and various Caribbean nations.
In order to be eligible for the SAWP program, you must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and LMIA, which is a document that certifies there are no qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents within Canada who are willing or competent to do the job.
Type of agricultural work varies. Your responsibilities could be to maintain farm, examine produce, help with harvesting and farm produce, operate farm machinery, etc.
The only downside is that it might be challenging to find a full time fruit picking job. You might have a better luck looking for full time jobs as a farm labourer.
What are the Best Places for Fruit Picking Jobs in Canada?
Canada is home to a wide variety of fruit, from the wild blueberries of the Atlantic provinces to the delicious peaches of Ontario, making it an ideal place to find fruit picking jobs in various locations.
Some of the most popular places to do fruit picker jobs in Canada include the Niagara region in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.
Each of these locations has its own climate and weather conditions, which can impact the type of fruit that grows there.
For example, Niagara’s cool climate is ideal for growing apples and grapes.
The Okanagan Valley, on the other hand, has hot, dry summers, which is ideal for growing stone fruits like cherries and peaches.
Overall, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are provinces with a long history of fruit farming. They offer a wide variety of fruit picking jobs.
In Nova Scotia, The Annapolis Valley is especially known for its fruit farms. There are many U-Pick operations for picking apples or berries open to the public.
In Ontario, for fruit picking head to Hamilton or Niagara.
There are also many orchards in Quebec with fruit picking jobs available along the St. Lawrence River Valley.
For those in the Prairies, Manitoba is known for its bountiful strawberry crops.
Saskatchewan has some amazing saskatoon berry farms!
If you’re looking for fruit picking jobs in Canada, these are some of the places to start your search.
Whether you’re looking for a seasonal job to last a few weeks or something to keep you busy for a couple of months, fruit picking is a great option!
There are many fruit picking farms located all across Canada, so you’re sure to find one that’s close to you.
And if you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of websites and resources that can help you find the perfect fruit picking job in Canada.