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

  • $1,027 Weekly Pay
  • 30,900 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 86.5% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 37.1 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 22.4% female Gender Share

The number of Food and Drink Factory Workers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 30,900 in 2017 to 36,100 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 27,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Food and Drink Factory Workers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; and Accommodation and Food Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (86.5%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 37.1 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 22.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200726100
200825900
200928500
201028700
201131000
201226300
201331600
201428300
201530200
201622800
201730900
202236100

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Manufacturing86.4
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing5.0
Accommodation and Food Services2.6
Administrative and Support Services1.6
Other Industries4.4

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 2017, 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
NSW27.031.6
VIC32.626.2
QLD18.519.7
SA13.96.7
WA3.310.8
TAS4.72.0
NT0.11.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-193.6-5.25.2
20-248.8-9.99.9
25-3422.4-23.623.6
35-4425.9-21.721.7
45-5427.5-20.820.8
55-598.3-8.88.8
60-642.3-6.06.0
65 and Over1.3-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Food Processing VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3091.00 - Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3091.00 - Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders.

go to top