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Job Sheet: Brewery Worker

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Job title
Brewery Worker

Job description:
Brewery workers have a varied and interesting role, assisting in the brewing process of beer-making, operating machinery for the packaging of beer (on the canning and bottling lines), through to packaging the finished product ready for distribution.

Typical tasks a brewery worker might carry out on the job include:

- operating computerised machinery that controls the brewing process
- analysing beer using laboratory equipment such as a spechophotometer, which measures the bitterness and colour of beer
- writing reports on beer production and identify any operational problems
- stock-taking and ordering ingredients
- cleaning and sterilising the machinery, tanks and the production area
- filling kegs and tankers with beer
- ensuring the machines wash, label and fill bottles correctly
- using a machine to pack bottles into crates/cartons and palletise crates/cartons 
- driving a forklift

Qualifications required
For those who learn the role on-the-job, the National Certificate in Food and Related Products Processing (Level 2 - 4) qualification meets the skill and knowledge sets needed by brewery workers, and is the most appropriate training pathway for workers in the wider food and beverage manufacturing industry.

The Level 2 national certificate is for entry-level employees i.e. within their first year of employment as a brewery worker. This qualification covers the skill and knowledge sets required by employees in a food or beverage processing environment where food hygiene, food safety and a sound understanding of food production processes are essential. 

The Level 3 national certificate programme is an intermediate level qualification for experienced process workers, typically in their second or third year of employment. It builds upon the core skill and knowledge sets covered by the Level 2 programme - including compulsory units in workplace communications - but introduces more specialist units

The Level 4 national certificate is intended for team leaders or supervisors, responsible for end-to-end processes, technical expertise on the production floor, or for a team of production workers (possibly even including their ongoing training). This qualification covers the technical or people management skills required by employees in, or moving into, roles at the supervisory level.

Training costs
Training is given on the job, and as such your employer would meet the costs of the training. 

They can access subsidies for the training through Competenz, the industry training organisation (ITO) for the food and beverage manufacturing sector.

Location of job
The larger commercial breweries in New Zealand, such as DB Breweries and Lion Nathan, have their major operations based in Auckland, with some smaller operations based in some other regional centres. 

There are several smaller boutique breweries located throughout New Zealand as well.

Salary range
Pay for brewery workers varies. In the major cities, they usually start on $35,000 to $40,000 a year. However, in small rural areas they may expect to start on a salary of about $25,000.

Pay for brewery workers normally increases annually. After about five years' experience, pay could go up to about $55,000 or more.
According to the 2006 Census, brewery workers earned an average of $46,000 a year and worked an average of 40 hours per week. This includes full and part-time workers.

(Source - Career Services website)

Other careers this profession could lead to

Brewery workers may move into brewer, head brewer or managerial positions - supervising production line or packaging teams, or managing and assessing the on-job training of a team on the production floor.

How to increase the chances of successfully entering this industry

Brewery workers must work with a number of others on the production and/or packaging lines, so good communication skills are really helpful. Being willing and happy to work within a team environment is a great start.

Any previous experience working within a food and beverage manufacturing business would also be favourable, as is an interest in technology - there's a lot of automated, computerised processes you'll need to become familiar with as a brewery worker.

Places to source information about this job

For more information on the National Certificate in Food and Related Products Processing (Level 2 - 4), and to view a video case study on a career as a Brewery Worker (with DB Breweries), visit the Competenz website -