The South Australian food and beverage industry employs 19,200 people, which is around 2.4% of the South Australian workforce.

Most people working in this industry have jobs in food production.

Most of the jobs are in the metropolitan area but there are also opportunities in the Murraylands and Barossa regions.

Job openings for skilled workers

Baker and pastry cook

Butcher and smallgoods maker


Food and wine scientist


Quick facts about this industry

  • Science and maths are important to train and work in this industry.
  • Around 68% of people work full-time in this industry.
  • Most people do not have a qualification, but if you want to get ahead a qualification is highly recommended.
  • Currently men make up three quarters of the workforce, however there are many opportunities for women.
  • People are generally younger than those in other industries.
  • To work in the food and beverage processing industry, you need to enjoy practical and manual activities, have good hand-eye coordination and be physically fit.
  • Meat processing workers and food processing workers earn between $600 and $800 per week, with more specialised workers earning between $1,000 and $1,250 per week.

School options

Ask your Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator at school for information about doing vocational education during the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), including the Training Guarantee for SACE (or equivalent) students. Visit the VET section of the SACE website for training options in:

  • Food processing
  • Meat processing

Vocational qualifications include:

  • Certificates II and III in Food Processing (Sales)
  • Certificate I - Diploma in Food Processing
  • Certificate III in Retail Baking with specialisations in combined, bread, and cake and pastry
  • Certificate II in Meat Processing with specialisations in abattoirs, food services, meat retailing and smallgoods
  • Certificates III in Meat Processing with specialisations in meat safety, boning room, food services, livestock handling, retail butcher, slaughtering and smallgoods
  • Certificate IV in Meat Processing with specialisations in leadership, meat safety and quality assurance
  • Diploma of Meat Processing with a specialisation in meat retailing
  • Certificate I - Diploma in Seafood Processing
  • Certificate I – Diploma in Aquaculture
  • Certificate I – Diploma in Fishing Operations
  • Certificate I – Diploma in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
  • Certificates II and III in Wine Industry Operations
  • Diploma of Food Science and Technology

See courses related to this industry.

University disciplines include:

  • Nutrition
  • Food science
  • Dietetics
  • Viticulture and oenology

For more information about university courses visit South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) or for information about student satisfaction visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

For information about Australian universities, visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Apply to study

For application information for South Australian universities and some TAFE SA courses, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

For subsidised training enrolment information, see Enrolling in subsidised training.

For more information, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

Occupations in this industry

Food product manufacturing

Food product manufacturing involves various processes to make raw foods suitable for consumption, cooking or storage.

Food technologists develop and improve existing food products and set standards for producing, packaging and marketing food. They use chemistry, microbiology, engineering and other scientific methods to study the process of food deterioration.

Beverage manufacturing

A significant number of different beverages are manufactured in South Australia, ranging from large-scale industrial mixing and bottling of soft beverages (soft drinks, cordials and syrups) through to beer brewing and winemaking.

South Australian wine regions have gained considerable international recognition for their wines. Viticulturists plan, supervise and coordinate the growing of selected grape varieties for the production of wine, dried fruit or table grapes.

Breweries produce beer for local and export markets. Micro breweries are also working to release craft beers to compete with imported beers from around the world.

Key occupations

Other occupations in this industry include:

Cheesemaker, confectioner, cook, chef, food process worker, food processing technician, kiln operator, manufacturer, meat processing worker, packer, pastry cook, process worker, production manager or seafood processor.

Related industries for these occupations

Useful links

Career information has been sourced from government publications. See data sources for more information.

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