A reference list of accessibility keys Careers New Zealand home page Sitemap Search the website About us Contact us govt.nz Jump to content Jump to site navigation main-menu Left column sub navigation menu Jump to page header Jump to page footer Jump to right-hand column

Dairy Products MakerAlternative titles

Kaiwhakamahi Pūrere Hua Miraka

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Butter Maker
Cheese Factory Worker
Milk Processing Worker
Milk Treater
Pasteuriser Operator
Yoghurt Maker

Dairy products makers operate machines to produce dairy products such as cheese, butter, yoghurt and milk powder.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733

What are the chances of getting a job?


Chances of getting work as a dairy products maker are good, as dairy processing is a large industry in New Zealand.

According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of dairy products makers has remained relatively stable since 2010 with about 2,100 people in the role. However, turnover and the size of the industry mean that opportunities are good. 

The New Zealand Industry Training Organisation (NZITO) estimates there are about 500 job vacancies a year for dairy products makers.

Growing exports and expansion overseas provide good opportunities for dairy products makers

Dairy products are New Zealand's largest export earner. The growth of new export companies and local market boutique companies means positions come up regularly. 

Fonterra (the largest producer of dairy products) is also expanding operations overseas, which provides opportunities for dairy products makers to work in Australia, Europe, China, Asia, USA and Latin America.

Fonterra the main employer of dairy products makers

Most dairy products makers work for Fonterra, which has 26 processing centres in New Zealand. Other employers of dairy products makers include:

  • Kapiti Fine Foods
  • Goodman Fielder
  • Open Country
  • Synlait
  • Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company
  • Westland Co-operative Dairy Company.

Some dairy products makers work at smaller, boutique cheese factories, which sell products mainly to niche markets.


  • Market New Zealand, 'Dairy Industry in New Zealand', September 2007, (www.marketnz.co.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data', (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.

Current vacancies

Sick & Tired of Commission Only? Listed: 16 Jul 2014 Northland
Dairy factory process workers Listed: 04 Jul 2014 Waikato
System Operator- Scott Milktech (Geraldine) Listed: 29 Jul 2014 Canterbury

Other vacancy websites

Progression and specialisations

Dairy products makers may specialise in making butter, cheese, milk or yoghurt.

They may also move into supervisory or management roles, or set up their own businesses.

How many people are doing this job?

Year 2012
Year 2011
Year 2010
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.

Jamie Taylor mixing ingredients to make milk products

Dairy products makers may specialise in making butter, cheese, milk or yoghurt

Updated 9 Jul 2014