Food & beverage manufacturing

Every day, nearly 30,000 people head to work in the food manufacturing industry preparing the foods that nourish us and contribute over $22 billion to New Zealand’s exports.

Careers information

What do they do?

Food manufacturing workers work in all kinds of food and beverage manufacturing e.g. making flour products (miller), beer products (brewery worker) or food products. They typically work in factories or on large production lines and as they become more experienced can become Production Managers in their area of experience.

Typical day

Typically, an 8 hour or shift work. Food manufacturing workers work on different parts of the production line, learning specific skills for each role. You may also undertake training on specialist equipment and may learn to make minor repairs and maintain the equipment you use.

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

Newly Qualified

$30k - $45k

Career Pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior jobs

There are no minimum entry requirements

Food processing

Safety and health

Process Worker


Brewery Worker

Team Leader

Specialist Technical Advisor

Plant Supervisor

Production Manager


Business Manager

Business Owner

Unit/Achievement standards in schools Traineeship Higher learning Higher learning

What do we offer?

  • We partner with industry associations like the Food and Grocery Council and members of your industry to help build skilled employees and promote careers in food and beverage manufacturing. 
  • We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences, competitions and graduations, and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.
  • When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the industry and the skills learners and businesses need to gain.

Click here for more details on the Careers NZ website.

National qualifications

This qualification is the first in a series of three qualifications designed for people employed in the processing of food, beverages, and related products. As an introductory qualification, it covers entry-level skills and knowledge, preparing people to play productive operational, services and storage roles in the food and related products processing industry. It would typically be completed in the first year of employment.

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As an intermediate qualification, this builds on the National Certificate in Food and Related Products Processing Level 2, and is intended for experienced process workers. This qualification would typically be achieved in the second or third year of employment.

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This qualification builds on the National Certificate in Food and Related Products Processing Level 2, and the National Certificate in Food and Related Products Processing Level 3, and is intended for team leaders or supervisors. The qualification would typically be achieved in the third or fourth year of employment.

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