Ontario’s food and beverage processing industry is the largest in Canada, with more than 4,000 establishments employing over 125,000 people.
It’s also an industry that has some big advantages. With a large customer base, the sector offers job security (everyone’s got to eat!), as well as opportunities for career growth in such areas as research and innovation.
These are just some of the reasons why Dave Machacek, Dean of Technology, Energy and Apprenticeship at Lambton College in Sarnia, says more students are exploring careers in the industry.
“The food and beverage processing sector is an ever-evolving field with good career prospects, a wide array of positions depending upon interest, development of transferrable skills, and an exciting environment,” says Machacek.
If you’re considering a career in the food and beverage processing sector, here are five programs offered at Lambton College that could help you land a job in the industry.
5 programs to help you land a job in the food and beverage processing industry
Chemical Laboratory Technology
If you’re looking for a program that will give you opportunities in many industries, including food and beverage processing, this could be the course for you.
This three-year Chemical Laboratory Technology course will equip you with the skills to analyze new technologies and conduct research to bring new products to market.
Careers you can land in the food and beverage processing industry include product development/R&D, quality control technician and more.
Workplace Safety and Prevention
In the food and beverage processing industry, health and safety are paramount. It’s critical for workplaces to support and promote healthy environments for their employees.
In this two-year course, you’ll learn about identifying, assessing, and managing risks in a variety of work environments. You’ll learn the skills required to effectively implement and evaluate health and safety systems in occupational settings.
Roles you can get in the food and beverage processing industry with this training include health and safety management or safety inspector positions.
Food Safety & Quality Assurance Management
If you’re looking to take a food industry-related course and already have a degree in science, chemistry, biology, microbiology, engineering, or another related field, then this Food Safety & Quality Assurance Management course could be the perfect fit for you.
In this two-year course, you’ll learn the principles of food safety and quality assurance standards in Canadian food and beverage processing industries. You’ll also learn about food chemistry and microbiology, food safety management systems and sanitation. In addition, you’ll get an in-depth review of Canadian and international food laws and regulations and more.
This program can prepare you for roles in the food and beverage processing sector such as a quality technician or HACCP coordinator.
Chemical Production & Power Engineering Technology
Power engineers play an important role across many industries, and food and beverage processing is no exception.
In this three-year program, students are trained on hands-on skills for operating large chemical facilities, which are required for raw ingredient production as well as food-safe and sustainable biomaterials packaging.
Graduates are prepared to become 4th class power engineers, which is a key skill in maintaining large manufacturing facilities with high power demands and refrigeration units like those used in food and beverage processing.
This two-year graduate certificate course focuses on the business side of the agricultural industry. Though the agriculture and food processing industries are different, they are intertwined.
In this course, students focus on foundational business skills, communications, accounting, and marketing strategies for the agricultural and food industry.
This prepares students to land roles such as product sales, and ingredient account managers.
How to choose the right program for you
Investing in your education is a big decision. With so many options out there, it can be hard to choose what course or program is right for you.
If you’re having trouble deciding, Machacek recommends you start by looking at programs you’re interested in, while also keeping the current and future job market in mind. Some post-secondary institutions, like Lambton College, offers a one-year, on-site program where you can explore different trades and technology course and decide which one is right for you.
“We also have a pre-technology program for students who want to adjust to college life and try a variety of trades to make an informed decision for the career that they choose,” says Machacek.
It’s also important to consider what experiential or co-op opportunities the program offers to give you real-world experience in your chosen field.
“Considerations need to be made for the program structure,” says Machacek. “Does the program offer hands-on laboratory experience with a similar workflow as utilized in the industry? Does the program offer a co-op opportunity to help you build your practical work experience? Does the program have connections to the industry? These are key points of consideration when selecting the right fit.”
Free training for the food and beverage processing industry
Still unsure what post-secondary course to take?
You can still get FREE training to set yourself up for success in the food and beverage processing industry!
Sign up for a free CareersNOW! Jobseeker account and gain access to Job Ready skills training, online job fairs, mentorship sessions, and other resources to learn more about the exciting opportunities in the Ontario food and beverage processing sector.