Vat 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 responsibilities of the Cheese Vat Operator are to run and maintain HTST, Cheese Vats, SCM, Crystal Ban addition, Pepper Feeders and related equipment, Leaker Detection and Metal Detection. Complete and maintain all Documentation and Inspections as assigned. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Ensure the correct operation and follow all Procedures of the Typical Day assigned equipment. 
  • Ability to identify flows from Milk Vestibules to packaging including completing Product Transitions
  • Must obtain Pasteurizer License within 12 months of being in role
  • Ability to troubleshoot and communicate any Plant issues with related equipment and/or Process
  • Operation of the H.T.S.T.’s in accordance with State and Federal Guidelines.  Operation inclusive of:  maintaining correct flow, temperature and chart changing.
  • Understand and maintain the operation and Sanitation of all Typical Day equipment including: CIP(Clean In Place) system, COP (clean out of place systems), Operator Based Maintenance and Pre and post CIP inspections
  • All In Process Sampling as assigned
  • To notify/communicate with management/maintenance any problems with equipment or processes that could affect Safety, Food Safety or quality. 
  • Ability to learn and operate computer related processes and controls.
  • Responsible for proper product safe handling and reforming procedures
  • 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
  • Must be able to work 12-hour variable shifts, including weekends, holidays and overtime as needed. 
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office Software such as Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Ability to lift up to 60lbs
  • 6 months of cheese operations experience

What Will Put You Ahead

  • High School diploma or GED from an accredited institution
  • SAP experience
  • State issued Pasteurizer License (if applicable)
  • Active/past member of department safety team
  • Held level 2 or level 3 role in cheese operations
  • Completion of a cheese short course
  • Experience as an On the Job Trainer
  • Has completed or in the process of completing HCC Level 1 Leadership training
  • Active/past member of department safety team

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 tasks.
  • 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


:Salary Range: USD( null -null )