Protein Plant Operator

At Hilmar Cheese Company we improve lives around the world through wholesome dairy products. Since our founding in 1984, Hilmar Cheese Company has been committed to innovation and sustainability. Our state-of-the art production facilities convert an abundance of locally sourced high-quality milk into a variety of nutritious cheeses, whey protein and lactose. The Cheese and Ingredients that we produce create a wide variety of retail and food service products from sliced and shredded cheeses, to protein supplements and infant formula. We are a trusted partner to premier food and beverage brands in for than fifty countries helping bring their vision into reality.


Throughout our decades of success and growth we have remained committed to our mission and values and these principles unite our people and guide all that we do.

A Typical Day

The primary responsibility of the Protein Plant Operator is to assure product quality while RO, evaporator, and RO water polisher units in production and CIP.

Job Responsibilities

  • Operate, evaporator, permeate and polishing R.O.’s, including production, CIP, and associated pieces of equipment
  • Responsible for maintaining accurate and complete paperwork.
  • Follow Good Manufacturing Procedures.  Understand sanitation in relation to CIP, COP, and clean up.
  • Maintain and monitor all Q.C. and production programs per Hilmar Cheese & Ingredient standards.
  • Complete and respond to all in-process testing.
  • Communicate, interact and work effectively with team members to help achieve department goals.
  • May be required to relieve operators for breaks and lunch periods or when needed
  • Perform master sanitation program duties as assigned
  • Department team participation; GMP audits, behavior sampling, safety audit, accident investigation, management presentations, follow-up on outstanding work orders, etc.
  • Promote and Follow Company Hygiene Zoning Program
  • All other duties as assigned by the Production Supervisor.
  • Active participation and ownership in your training and development program and associated activities, classes and events, which will be held before, during, after shifts and during scheduled days off.  
  • Help coach and train teammates and participate in on the job, buddy training.
  • Place high priority on food safety and sanitation by understanding and executing HCC’s food safety and sanitation policies and procedures. This includes communicating any food safety incident, observation, or opportunity to your leadership team or teammates as well as participating in food safety and sanitation root cause analysis and improvement activities when required. 
  • Prioritize safety above all other job duties by having a safety first approach at all times. This includes reporting any safety issues, observations, opportunities to your teams and follow up. 

What You Will Need

  • English skills must be proficient to understand, read, write and speak English
  • Basic computer skills 
  • Must be able to work 12-hour shifts, including weekends, holidays and overtime as needed.
  • Ability to lift up to 60lbs

What Will Put You Ahead

  • High School diploma or GED from an accredited institution
  • SAP experience 
  • SAP experience
  • Dairy manufacturing experience
  • Active/past member of departmental safety team
  • Skilled in Packaging Operator or General Sanitation (Level 1)

Physical Demands & Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee will be required to:

  • Stand, walk, use hands to finger, handle or feel and reach with hands and arms, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl and talk or hear.
  • Stand and walk almost the entire workday.
  • Employees must be physically capable of working in any of the job tasks within their respective area.
  • Required to work at heights and in fairly small areas.
  • Pushing, pulling, reaching, bending, stooping, squatting, kneeling, handling and grasping, twisting/turning, repetitive bending.

Food safety is a companywide responsibility and each employee must know their role in the manufacture and distribution of safe, wholesome, and high quality products.


This description is a general statement and does not include other duties as assigned

Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer/EEO. We participate in E-Verify.

English Information | Spanish Information


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