Fencer Kaihanga Taiapa

Fencers construct and repair fences, barriers or walls made of timber, metal, wire, chain-link or other materials.

Fencers may do some or all of the following:

  • repair or demolish and remove existing fences and obstacles
  • lay out fence lines, dig fence post holes and position posts
  • mix and pour concrete and set posts accurately
  • construct fences, barriers or walls made of timber, metal, wire, chain-link or other materials
  • assemble gates and hang them in position
  • use different types of machinery and power tools
  • estimate job requirements and quote prices for customers
  • operate their own business as a fencing contractor.

Physical Requirements

Fencers need to have:

  • a good level of fitness and must be strong as they lift heavy building materials
  • good hand-eye co-ordination as they need to use power and hand tools
  • good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) as they need to measure and align fences accurately. 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for fencers includes:

  • concreting or trenching work 
  • building and construction work
  • landscaping
  • farming
  • working with hand and power tools.

Personal Qualities

Fencers need to be:

  • able to follow instructions
  • fit and healthy
  • able to solve problems and make decisions
  • well organised and safety-conscious
  • good communicators.

Skills

Fencers need to have knowledge of:

  • fencing materials, designs and styles
  • costing methods and business management
  • how to use power tools and machinery
  • technical plans and how to follow instructions and procedures 
  • carpentry and how to make concrete.

Conditions

Fencers:

  • often work irregular and long hours
  • work in all but the most extreme weather conditions
  • often work in dusty or muddy conditions 
  • may travel to private properties, or industrial and commercial sites, and may work in remote rural areas.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but construction and mechanical technologies, maths and physical education to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.  

Year 11 and 12 learners can find out more about the construction industry, and gain relevant skills, by doing a New Zealand Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Level 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

Fencers can earn around $21-$30 per hour.

Pay for fencers varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Entry-level fencers usually start on the minimum wage.
  • Skilled fencers usually earn between minimum wage and $30 an hour.
  • Fencing contractors can earn between $45 and $62 an hour.

Source: Fencing Contractors Association, 2019. 

Fencers may progress to set up their own contracting business, or move into management roles.

Fencers often specialise in either rural or residential and commercial fencing, or a particular type of fencing such as:

  • barrier fencing such as retaining walls or garden fences
  • farm or orchard fencing
  • security fencing
  • masonry fencing using materials like brick, concrete or stone
  • metal or wrought-iron fencing
  • pool or deck fencing.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a fencer as you gain skills on the job. However, some employers prefer to hire fencers who have or are working towards a New Zealand Certificate in Fencing, or a New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Level 2) which has a fencing component.

New Zealand Certificates in Agriculture are overseen by the Primary Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO) and involve theory and on-the-job training.

New Zealand Certificates in Fencing are offered at Levels 2, 3 and 4 by training providers throughout the country.

Most employers also require you to have a full driver’s licence.

Fencer

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