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Food Processing Occupations

Food Processing Occupations
Quick Facts : Food Processing Occupations*
2010 Median Pay$23,950
Entry Level EducationLess than high school
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012311,300
Job Outlook12% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change37,400

Food processing occupations include butchers and meat cutters; meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers; and operators and tenders of roasting, baking, and drying machinery. These workers cut, trim, or otherwise process food items, such as meat, or nonfood items, such as tobacco, for retail sale.

What Food Processing Occupations Do

  • Grind meats for sale as chopped meats or sausage
  • Maintain inventory quantities and track the freshness of products
  • Operate handtools, such as hand vacuums, knives, and saws
  • Ensure that gauges and sensors work properly by touching, seeing, and smelling the products they measure
  • Watch the flow of products through machinery and listen for malfunctions

Work Environment

Workers in food processing occupations work in grocery stores or food processing facilities. All of these occupations require strenuous activity and may include exposure to hot or cold temperatures and dangerous equipment. Nearly all workers in food processing occupations work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of food processing occupations is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020 due to more people are buying partially prepared and easy-to-cook products.
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In May 2010 average salary wage of food processing occupations was $23,950.
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Food Processing Occupations*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Food Processing Occupations


Food Services Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Food Processing Occupations*
Percent Change in Employment

Food Processing Occupations


Food Services Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Food Processing Occupations

There are no formal education requirements for workers in food processing occupations; workers receive on-the-job training. Butchers typically need previous work experience. They may need to be certified by the appropriate governmental agency to ensure conformity with health standards.
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