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

    You can work as a Food or Drink Factory Worker without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in food processing might be helpful.

    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

    All Food and Drink Factory Workers

    • $1,208 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Average unemployment Unemployment
    • 31,500 workers Employment Size
    • Entry level Skill level rating
    • 75% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 42 hours Average full-time
    • 41 years Average age
    • 30% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Food and Drink Factory Workers (in their main job) is about the same as 5 years ago and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 31,500 in 2018 to 34,700 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 24,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 4,800 a year).

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2018.
    • Location: Food and Drink Factory Workers work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; and Accommodation and Food Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,208 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (75%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 30% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200825900
    200928500
    201028700
    201131000
    201226600
    201331800
    201428300
    201529900
    201622100
    201731600
    201831500
    202334700

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings12081460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Manufacturing77.6
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing5.2
    Accommodation and Food Services4.6
    Wholesale Trade4.3
    Other Industries8.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW24.231.6
    VIC36.025.6
    QLD19.220.0
    SA10.77.0
    WA5.110.8
    TAS4.42.0
    NT0.11.0
    ACT0.21.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    15-193.6-5.05.0
    20-249.0-9.39.3
    25-3422.2-22.922.9
    35-4422.7-22.022.0
    45-5424.3-21.621.6
    55-5910.2-9.09.0
    60-646.0-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.1-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate2.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree8.9-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma6.6-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV20.0-21.121.1
    Year 1227.0-18.118.1
    Year 118.7-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below26.1-12.512.5

    You can work as a Food or Drink Factory Worker without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in food processing might be helpful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • forklift licence
    • manual drivers licence

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Food Production

      52% Skill level

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

    2. Production and Processing

      51% Skill level

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

    3. Mathematics

      48% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    4. Mechanical

      46% Skill level

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

    5. Chemistry

      43% Skill level

      Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3092.00 - Food Batchmakers.

    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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

      89% Important

      How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

    2. Spend Time Standing

      86% Important

      How much time do you spend standing?

    3. Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment

      85% Important

      How important is it to this job that the pace is determined by the speed of equipment or machinery? (This does not refer to keeping busy at all times on this job.)

    4. Being Exact or Accurate

      84% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    5. Sounds, Loud or Uncomfortable

      83% Important

      How often are you there sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3092.00 - Food Batchmakers.

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