Process Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage Processing

Occupation:Process Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage Processing
Category:Manufacturing and Utilities

About the job

Nature of work:

Process control and machine operators in this group operate multi-function process control machinery and single-function machines to process and package food and beverage products. They are employed in fruit and vegetable processing plants, dairies, flour mills, bakeries, sugar refineries, meat plants, breweries, and other food and beverage processing establishments.

Job duties:
Process control operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate multi-function process control machinery through control panels, computer terminals or other control systems to grind, extract, mix, blend, cook or otherwise process food products and to bag, box or otherwise package food products.
  • Operate multi-function process control machinery to grind, extract, mix, blend, distill, ferment or otherwise process alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and to bottle, can or otherwise package beverages.
  • Observe gauges, computer printouts and video monitors to verify specified processing conditions and make adjustments to process variables such as cooking times, ingredient inputs, flow rates and temperature settings.
  • Maintain shift log of production and other data.
Machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Set up and adjust processing and packaging machines preparatory to operation.
  • Operate single-function machines to grind, extract, mix, blend, dry, freeze, cook, or otherwise process food, beverage or associated products.
  • Operate single-function machines to box, can or otherwise package food, beverage or associated products.
  • Check products to ensure conformance to company standards and clear machine blockages as required.
  • Record production information such as quantity, weight, size, date and type of products packaged.
  • Perform corrective machine adjustments, clean machines and immediate work areas
Sample job titles:
  • brewery worker
  • cheese maker
  • cider maker
  • coffee roaster
  • dairy plant machine operator
  • fruit and vegetable machine operator
  • packaging machine operator - food processing
  • press operator - food and beverage processing
  • process control operator - food and beverage processing
  • winemaker - food and beverage processing

To work in these jobs, you should be responsible, alert, and in good physical health. Coordination, agility, and a mechanical aptitude are important. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school may be required.
  • On-the-job training is provided.
Other considerations:

Shift work may be typical for many of these jobs. Experience as a labourer in food, beverage or associated products processing may be required for machine operators while experience as a machine operator in food, beverage or associated products processing is usually required for industrial process control operators. There is little mobility among the various types of process control operators within the food and beverage processing industry while mobility options exist among machine operators within the food, beverage and associated products processing. Process control operators may progress to supervisory positions in food and beverage processing with experience while machine operators may progress to process control operation or supervisory positions with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Machine Operators in Food, Beverage, and Associated Products Processing most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 54% of Machine Operators in Food, Beverage, and Associated Products Processing who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $45,034. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Process Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage Processing550decline slightly40Moderate
Minimum: $11.50
Median: $18.00
Maximum: $22.72
Minimum: $7,252
Median: $31,892
Maximum: $63,392
Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities15,275Weak growth1,275Moderate
Minimum: $12.00
Median: $18.75
Maximum: $30.00
Minimum: $6,056
Median: $30,111
Maximum: $70,518
Process Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage ProcessingCompared to: Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities
Percent employed full-time90%87%
Percent self-employed5%3%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentProcess Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage ProcessingCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton7%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley27%$27,77613%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeProcess Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage ProcessingCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% Employed% Employed
Median Age3945
GenderProcess Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage ProcessingCompared to: Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities
% Employed% Employed
EducationProcess Control and Machine Operators in Food and Beverage ProcessingCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school19.7%$11,77322.9%$21,011
High school49.2%$15,36638.1%$28,358
Trades certificate7.6%$25,07412.4%$37,356
College certificate or diploma11.4%$21,88220.3%$36,968
University certificate or diploma2.3%$23,0841.1%$35,915
Bachelor's degree8.3%$26,4344.4%$36,852
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.3%$55,581
Master's degreeN/Ax0.5%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%N/A
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Food & Consumer Products of Canada
100 Sheppard Ave E #600
Toronto, ON
Tel: (416) 510-8024
Fax: (416) 510-8043

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.