Food and Drink Factory Workers perform routine tasks in manufacturing food and beverages.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • weighing, measuring, mixing, dissolving and boiling ingredients
  • adding materials, such as spices and preservatives, to food and beverages
  • operating heating, chilling, freezing, pasteurising, carbonating, sulphuring and desulphuring plant
  • monitoring product quality before packaging by inspecting, taking samples and adjusting treatment conditions when necessary
  • operating machines to peel, core, slice, dice, pit and juice fruit and vegetables
  • cleaning equipment, pumps, hoses, storage tanks, vessels and floors, and maintaining infestation control programs
  • regulating speed of conveyors and crusher rollers, and adjusting tension of rollers to ensure total extraction of juice from sugar cane
  • moving products from production lines into storage and shipping areas
  • packaging and bottling products

Job Titles

  • Baking Factory Worker
  • Brewery Worker
  • Confectionery Maker
  • Dairy Products Maker
  • Fruit and Vegetable Factory Worker
  • Grain Mill Worker
  • Sugar Mill Worker
  • Winery Cellar Hand
  • Other Food and Drink Factory Workers
  • Baking Factory Worker

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to make bread, cakes and other baked products, and slices and wraps products.

    Specialisations: Biscuit Factory Worker, Bread Room Hand

  • Brewery Worker

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to make beer, and package, store and despatch beer in bottles, cans and kegs.

  • Confectionery Maker

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to make and wrap confectionery.

    Specialisations: Chocolate Maker

  • Dairy Products Maker

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to make and package milk, milk powder, yoghurt, butter, cheese and other dairy products.

    Specialisations: Butter Maker, Cheese Factory Worker, Cheese Maker, Milk Processing Worker, Milk Treater, Pasteuriser Operator, Yoghurt Maker

  • Fruit and Vegetable Factory Worker

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to prepare canned and frozen fruit and vegetables, and make and package sauces, jams and juices.

  • Grain Mill Worker

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to mix, mill and treat grains and by-products to make flour, meal and stockfeed.

    Specialisations: Stockfeed Miller

  • Sugar Mill Worker

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to extract juice from sugar cane to make granular sugar and molasses.

  • Winery Cellar Hand

    Operates machines and performs routine tasks to make and bottle wine.

  • Other Food and Drink Factory Workers

    Includes Coffee Roaster, Egg Factory Worker, Ice-cream Maker, Margarine Maker, Pasta Maker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,027 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    29600
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    74.5%
  • Female Share

    25.5%
  • Full-Time Share

    85.0%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 29,600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Food and Drink Factory Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; and Wholesale Trade.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.7 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,027 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200523200
200626700
200725200
200825400
200928800
201033200
201127900
201228000
201328800
201430700
201529600
202029700

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsFood and Drink Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10271230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryFood and Drink Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time8568.4
Part-time1531.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.740

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing89
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing3.1
Wholesale Trade3
Accommodation and Food Services1.9
Other Industries3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateFood and Drink Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW24.631.8
VIC33.925.5
QLD17.419.8
SA14.16.8
WA4.811.2
TAS5.12
NT01.1
ACT0.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketFood and Drink Factory WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-195.7-5.45.4
20-247.6-9.99.9
25-3423.7-23.423.4
35-4420.8-21.721.7
45-5420.3-21.121.1
55-5913.9-8.78.7
60-647-5.95.9
65 and Over1.1-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryFood and Drink Factory WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males74.5Males53.6
Females25.5Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationFood and Drink Factory WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate6.6-8.68.6
Bachelor degree17.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV13.7-18.918.9
Year 1232.4-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1022.5-17.717.7
Below Year 107.1-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Food and Drink Factory Workers who are reliable, hardworking and have good people skills.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Food Production

    70% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  2. Production and Processing

    63% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  3. Chemistry

    50% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

  4. Mechanical

    50% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  5. Building and Construction

    48% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    92% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    91% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  3. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    79% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  4. Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings

    77% Important

    Checking objects, actions, or events, keeping an eye out for problems.

  5. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    76% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

Occupational Information Network Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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