Dairy Systems Technician

Career information

What do they do?

Dairy technicians install and maintain milking systems, farm water or effluent systems. They play an essential role in supporting New Zealand's biggest industry.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day; sometimes outside normal hours if there is a breakdown.

Each day can be quite different; working in a workshop one day and on a farm the next.

You will install, maintain, test, diagnose faults and make recommendations for milking systems, farm water and/or farm dairy effluent systems to keep them running smoothly.

Sound like you?

Study areas
  • English or Media or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Agriculture or Horticulture.
  • Indoors (workshop or plant)
  • Outdoors (outdoors)
  • Different places from time to time.
Helpful experience
  • Customer service or helping people
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery.
Preferred work environments
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Good at problem solving/creative.



These can be useful from school:

Ideally NCEA Level 2 in:

  • Maths
  • Science (physics)
  • Technology (metal work)
  • English.
Entry level jobs


  • Dairy Systems Engineer
  • Milking Machine System Technician
  • Pump Technician
  • Farm Water System Technician
  • Dairy Effluent System Technician.
Advancing jobs

Higher learning

  • Supervisor
Senior jobs

Higher learning

  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner.


New Zealand Apprenticeship in Dairy Systems (Engineering) (Level 4) - Pumping Systems

Who this qualification is intended for: learners who want to complete an apprenticeship in Pumping Systems

Credits: 210 duration: 36 - 42 months

Graduates will be able to:

  • assess water sources and calculate water requirements for stock water, dairy shed consumption and irrigation
  • apply an in-depth understanding of pipe hydraulics, the design, operation and maintenance of rural water and dairy effluent systems, including complex branched systems, to the selection, layout design and installation of pipes
  • install a farm water reticulation or effluent system, test it to current accepted industry standards, commission it and complete the hand over to the customer
  • assemble and disassemble pumping, water reticulation and dairy effluent systems as part of fault finding, repair, service and maintenance work
  • apply an understanding of the causes and risks of backflow when installing  an effective backflow prevention device
  • evaluate the requirements for the treatment of various natural water sources and determine appropriate treatment options to meet both health and legislative requirements
  • identify hazards and safety requirements when dealing with both water reticulation and dairy effluent systems, particularly around sumps and ponds
  • carry out the electrical work associated with installing, maintaining, servicing and commissioning milk harvesting plant and equipment