Home Industry Information Food & Wine Processing Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical

Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical


The Food Processing Industry is very diverse in terms of the size and location of employers, and in the range occupations. The industry makes, processes or manufactures many of life’s essential food products as well pharmaceuticals and beverages.

Sectors in this industry are characterised by a large number of small and medium-size producers who are producing for local or niche markets, and a smaller number of large producers who are often multinational companies that operate globally.

What does this industry cover?

  • Large-scale baking
  • Retail baking
  • Beverage production
  • Confectionery manufacture
  • Egg & dairy processing
  • Grain processing
  • Fruit & vegetable processing
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Wine processing

Industry Information

The Food Processing sectors combined form one of Australia’s largest manufacturing sectors.  The industry includes 12,480 manufacturing businesses and 27,000 wholesalers and retailers, who collectively employ approximately 721,000 people.

Many employers are located in regional and rural centres.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a medium industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2018, commencements were: 2486

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 28/03/2019AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2018 in this industry have remained stable, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 28/03/2019AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a medium to large sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has increased.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is medium.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018. AATIS analysis.

Key Occupations

Advanced Production Operator

Advanced Packaging Operator

Food Processing Technician

Retail Baking - Pastrycook

Retail Baker

Wine Grape Grower

Cellar Door Sales Person

This industry is positioned in the following groups


Food & Wine Processing

Work Type

Analytic & Scientific

Practical & Manual

Ready to see where the Food Processing industry can take you?

Career Pathways

The Food Processing industry has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quiz

This resource illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in this sector.

Download The Quiz

Support Services

Further Research


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 


  • Australian Food and Grocery Council 
  • Food and Beverage Importers Association 


  • Australian Dairy Products Federation 
  • Dairy Industry Association of Australia Inc 


  • Australian Society of Baking 
  • Baking Association of Australia 
  • National Baking Industry Association


  • Australian Sugar Milling Council 

Soft drinks

  • Australian Beverages Council 


  • Craft Beer Industry Association
  • Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand 
  • Cider Australia 


  • Winemakers’ Federation of Australia


  • Australian Distillers Association 


  • Medicines Australia 
  • Complementary Medicines Australia 


Regulatory bodies

  • Australian Grape and Wine Authority (Wine Australia)
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration 
  • Food Standards Australia and New Zealand 
  • Standards Australia 
  • ACT Health ACT
  • Northern Territory Department of Health NT
  • New South Wales Food Authority NSW
  • VineHealth Australia SA
  • Dairy Authority of South Australia SA
  • South Australian Department of Health SA
  • Queensland Department of Health QLD
  • Safe Food Production Queensland QLD
  • Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Service TAS
  • Dairy Food Safety Victoria VIC
  • PrimeSafe VIC
  • Victorian Department of Health and Human Services VIC
  • Western Australian Department of Health WA

Career Sites