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Feed Mill Production Worker

Feed mill production workers operate machines that process animal and poultry feed. The machines clean, separate, crush, grind, mix, pellet, and bag grains for the feed.

Also Known As

Production Worker

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing (9461.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Process Control and Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing (J171) 
  • 2011 NOC: Process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing (9461) 
  • 2016 NOC: Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing (9461) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing
2006 NOC : 9461.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group


Interest in operating processing and packaging machines and equipment


Interest in comparing information to make sure products conform to company standards; and in recording production data such as quantities, weights, sizes, dates and types of packaged products


Interest in setting up and adjusting processing and packaging machines

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Updated Mar 31, 2019

Feed mill production workers may specialize in one area or rotate duties throughout the plant. In general, they:

  • Operate:
    • Pellet mills
    • Rolling and grinding equipment
    • Mixing and blending equipment
    • Packaging equipment
  • Conduct quality-control checks
  • Maintain records of production information
  • Maintain and repair equipment
  • Handle bagged products and sales inventory in the warehouse
  • Manually scale and prepare minerals, vitamins, and medications
  • Operate forklifts
  • Load and drive trucks

The industry is changing and production workers are being assigned more responsibility in production processes. Many plants are being automated. In most plants, workers interact with other staff members in all parts of the operation.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Feed mill production workers primarily work indoors. The work environment may be noisy and dusty. They may have to do some heavy lifting. Shift work usually is required.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Feed mill production workers need:

  • Health and stamina (no allergies to grain dust)
  • Manual dexterity
  • The ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions
  • The ability to work quickly and steadily with little supervision
  • Mechanical ability
  • The ability to work as part of a team

Feed mill workers should enjoy operating and controlling equipment, adjusting machines, and having clear rules with organized work methods.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

There are no standard education requirements for feed mill production workers. However, employers may require that applicants have a high school diploma. Related training or experience, such as a farm background, is an asset. Computer skills also are assets.

Feed mill workers generally are trained on the job. They learn to operate machinery in various aspects of mill operations. This may involve:

  • Learning and following standard operating procedures
  • Keeping records for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification
  • Learning and following health and safety procedures
  • Obtaining a forklift certificate

Post-secondary schools with agricultural programs sometimes provide short courses related to feed mill production. The schools’ continuing education divisions usually offer them in response to demand.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Employees with no previous experience in feed mill production usually start as general plant help. With more experience, they are trained to operate machinery.

In most plants, individuals who have demonstrated leadership may advance to lead hand and supervisory positions. Some production workers may become feed sales representatives or move into marketing positions. To do this, they must take additional training and have a suitable personality.

Feed mill production workers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 9461: Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing. In Alberta, 84% of people employed in this classification work in the Manufacturing (pdf) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Manufacturing industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 9461: Process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing

2016 NOC : 9461
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 9461 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.50 $24.46 $17.76 $17.10
Overall $17.55 $27.10 $20.82 $20.45
Top $20.96 $33.50 $24.04 $21.30

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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