Beverage Industry Workers


Exploring this Job

If you are interested in a career in this field, begin exploring by doing some research. Read industry publications and visit their Web sites to learn about new trends, terminology, and important manufacturers. Beverage Industry magazine (, Beverage Digest newsletter (, and Tea & Coffee Trade Journal ( are good publications to take a look at. If there is a manufacturing plant in your area, try to get a summer or part-time job there. No matter what position you get, you'll have an inside look at the beverage industry. If there isn't a plant in your area, look for work in any setting offering interaction with the beverage industry, such as grocery stores, juice bars, coffee shops, and delivery services. These should also provide you with valuable work experience and give you the opportunity to learn what consumers like, how supplies are ordered and delivered, and what new products are available.

The Job

The beverage industry provides jobs in many phases of manufacturing, from mixing syrups for soft drinks to working on assembly lines for bottling, sealing, shipping, distributing, and selling the products. Plant, distribution, and sales managers are a few of the administrative positions, while maintenance, shipping, and technical workers are employed by most companies. There are many small companies involved at the bottling and wholesale level, where workers process, sell, and distribute beverages.

Plants that process soft drinks require workers who control flows, pressures, temperatures, line speeds, carbonation, Brix (measurement of sugar solution), and inline blending.

Workers may be employed in growing and harvesting of beverage industry products, such as coffee, tea, citrus, and other fruits, as well as the processing, packaging, shipping, distribution, and sales of these products.

Since many teas and coffees are imported from other countries, there are positions involving importing, processing, packaging, shipping, and distributing these products as well as in sales. There also are jobs in plants that create the sweeteners, syrups, bottles, cans, labels, and other items that support the manufacturing and sale of beverages.

In all areas of the beverage industry, positions range from unskilled laborers to highly paid administrative and sales staff. There also are many technical and scientific positions, where people work to create new types of beverages, new flavors, and new packaging as well as in quality control. In 2001, the Food and Drug Administration announced a final rule on juice processors' need to comply with the Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to ensure safe production of juices. The purpose of the HACCP system is to eliminate illness-causing microbes and other hazards in the manufacturing process. To comply with the regulation, the industry began adding additional staff who have appropriate education and training in these areas. Still another area of employment related to the beverage industry is the recycling of cans and bottles.