Co-op program details

Food Processing Technician

Program details

Credential: 2-Year Ontario College Diploma

This 16-month program is designed to prepare students for a career as a Food Processing Technician in the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry. Emphasis is placed on mechanical systems and preventative maintenance for the high technology equipment used in a food manufacturing operation.

Relevant aspects of industrial maintenance, machine technology, pumps, valves, as well as an introduction to food science, food processing methods, and an overview of manufacturing concepts are covered. All theoretical training is supported by hands-on experience in mechanical shops, and in a state-of-the-art food processing pilot plant.

Graduates of this program apply their skills in predictive/preventative/corrective maintenance procedures, equipment operation and sanitation practices, health and safety practices, food safety practices, and have good communication, leadership and problem-solving skills.

Student availability & wage data

Conestoga College facilitates recruitment on an ongoing basis - there are no hard deadlines. Typical time frames for work terms are listed below.

Postings are accepted beginning four months before the start of a term until all students have secured employment provided the minimum 12 consecutive weeks of full-time work is met.

Work/Study Sequence

Year Fall (Sept - Dec) Winter (Jan - Apr) Spring (May - Aug)
Year 1 Classes Classes Work Term: $14.50–16.50
Year 2 Classes

Conestoga College collects data on hourly wages of co-operative education students and offers suggested ranges as a service to employers for the purpose of establishing fair and competitive compensation.

Our experience has been that employers increase wages as skills increase, particularly when employing students for more advanced work terms. The Co-operative Education Office can provide assistance to employers in establishing appropriate wage rates.

Work term capabilities

  • Apply mechanical skills (tool selection, lubrication, minor equipment repairs) to activities specific to the food processing environment
  • Participate in preventive and corrective maintenance activities as part of a maintenance team
  • Apply food safety concepts (including cleaning and sanitation of equipment) to the manufacture of food products
  • Interpret technical documentation typical in a food manufacturing environment, including SOPS, PMs, SSOPs, JSOs
  • Perform tasks effectively both individually and as a member of a work team
  • Perform manufacturing specific tasks in accordance with legislation, safe practices, policies, procedures, standards, regulations and ethical principles
  • Under supervision, quickly learn to operate automated food processing equipment according to industry standard principles and practices
  • Handle materials (ingredients, packaging materials, cleaning chemicals) respecting GMPs, Health and Safety rules and regulations and Food Safety principles
  • Implement continuous improvement tools, including Lean and Six-Sigma in a team environment

Sample job titles

  • Continuous Improvement Leader
  • Machine Operator
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Material Handler
  • Batching Associate
  • Processing Associate
  • Packaging Associate
  • QA / QC / Food Safety Associate

Program courses

To see a typical course list for this program, see the current program course information.

Post a co-op job now

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Contact information

Do you need help developing a recruitment plan or job posting, accessing wage information, or connecting with a talented co-op student? Contact:

Ken Buitenhuis
Employer Relations Consultant
519-748-5220 ext. 3216