Co-op program details

Food Processing Technician (Optional Co-op)

Program details

Credential: 2-year Ontario College Diploma

This 16-month program prepares students for a career as a food processing technician in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. It includes courses on industrial maintenance, drawings and schematics, machine technology, pumps, valves, motor controls and PLCs, as well as an introduction to food science, food processing methods, food safety and an overview of the principles of food manufacturing.

All theoretical training is supported by hands-on experience in mechanical shops and a food processing pilot plant. Students receive training in mechanical systems and industrial maintenance as they apply to a food manufacturing operation and will have intensive hands-on mechanical experience with food processing equipment.

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 Semester Semester Semester
Year 1 Classes Classes Work Term*: $16.55-21
Year 2 Classes

*Note: students are available for work term in the following semesters: fall (September to the end of December); spring (May to the end of August).

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, SSOPs, PMs, and JISs
  • Develop technical documentation including batch records, testing procedures, SOPs, SSOPs, PMs, and JISs
  • 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

  • Batching Associate
  • Continuous Improvement Leader
  • Equipment Operator
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Material Handler
  • Packaging Associate
  • Processing Associate
  • QA / QC / Food Safety Associate
  • Sanitation Associate
  • Technical Writer

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