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Food Processing Operators

Food Processing Operators
Quick Facts : Food Processing Operators*
2010 Median Pay$24,250
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012131,000
Job Outlook2% (Little or no change)
Employment Change2,300

Food processing operators include food batchmakers and food cooking machine operators and tenders. These workers may set up, operate, and tend cooking equipment that mixes, blends, cooks, or otherwise processes ingredients used to manufacture food products. Food processing operators typically work in food processing facilities, although they also work in many other industries.

What Food Processing Operators Do

  • Control temperatures, oil or water flow rates, humidity, and pressures of cooking machinery with thermostats and valves
  • Operate mixers and manage ingredients to meet product quality and uniformity standards
  • Monitor products by watching, tasting, or listening to machinery
  • Maintain clean workspaces and equipment to meet health and safety standards
  • Fill work orders and weigh and otherwise check products to ensure accuracy and quality

Work Environment

Food processing operators work in food processing facilities. Facilities are usually loud and may be hot or cold, depending on the goods being produced. Most food processing operators worked full time in 2010.
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Job Outlook

Employment of food batchmakers is project to experience little or no change, growing 1 percent from 2010 to 2020 and 5 percent for food cooking machine operators and tenders.
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The average salary of food batchmakers was $24,640 in May 2010.
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Food Processing Operators*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Food Processing Operators


Food Services Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Food Processing Operators*
Percent Change in Employment

Food Processing Operators


Food Services Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Food Processing Operators

Because of the increasing complexity of the equipment, math and English skills may be required so most food processing operators have at least a high school degree. Physical stamina is required, and some previous experience in manufacturing is preferred.
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