Dairy Processing Operator Kaiwhakamahi Pūrere Hua Miraka

Dairy processing operators oversee the operation of equipment used to produce a wide range of dairy products such as cheese, butter, yoghurt and milk powder.   

Dairy processing operators may do some or all of the following:

  • receive and process milk/products coming onto the site
  • operate equipment to make and package dairy products
  • take samples of, and test dairy products
  • clean and sterilise equipment
  • identify ways to improve the dairy-product-making process.

Physical Requirements

Dairy processing operators need to be reasonably fit, as they spend long periods on their feet and may be required to lift heavy objects.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for dairy processing operators includes:

  • manufacturing work
  • work on a dairy farm
  • laboratory work
  • any work involving food handling and hygiene.

Personal Qualities

Dairy processing operators need to be:

  • patient and practical
  • efficient and organised
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to work well in a team or alone
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to keep accurate records.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for dairy processing operators includes:

  • manufacturing work
  • work on a dairy farm
  • laboratory work
  • any work involving food handling and hygiene.

Subject Recommendations

A minimum of four years of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include chemistry, maths and processing technologies. 

Dairy Processing Operators can earn around $50K-$60K per year per year.

Dairy processing operators may specialise in:

  • running specific equipment in a dairy processing factory
  • making products such as butter, cheese or milk powder.

They may also progress to:

  • set up their own boutique factory
  • move into supervisory or managerial roles in dairy processing
  • move into other areas in dairy processing such as health and safety, project management, or logistics and warehousing.
Dairy Processing Operator

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