Food and tobacco processing workers understand what it takes to make the United States the largest food exporter in the world. They operate the equipment that manufactures food and tobacco products. These workers load equipment, and weigh and mix ingredients for recipes. They monitor production to ensure products meet quality standards. Food and tobacco processing workers specialize in different equipment and products: Roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders use ovens, roasters and other appliances to prepare food or tobacco products. Some workers dehydrate fruits, while others roast tobacco or coffee beans. Food batchmakers typically work in facilities that produce baked goods, pasta, and tortillas. They load and unload ovens, and make cheese and candy. Food cooking machine operators and tenders can fruits and vegetables, fry chips, bake snack foods, and make chocolates and other sweets. Food and tobacco processing workers work in large manufacturing facilities with loud machinery. High temperature equipment and cold storage environments are both common. Most food and tobacco processing workers work full time. Some production facilities are open only a few months each year, and require workers around the clock during their season. While food and tobacco processing workers learn their skills on the job, food batchmakers and cooking machine operators typically need a high school education.
What they do:
Operate or tend food or tobacco roasting, baking, or drying equipment, including hearth ovens, kiln driers, roasters, char kilns, and vacuum drying equipment.
On the job, you would:
Observe, feel, taste, or otherwise examine products during and after processing to ensure conformance to standards.
Set temperature and time controls, light ovens, burners, driers, or roasters, and start equipment, such as conveyors, cylinders, blowers, driers, or pumps.
Observe temperature, humidity, pressure gauges, and product samples and adjust controls, such as thermostats and valves, to maintain prescribed operating conditions for specific stages.
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Arts and Humanities
Safety and Government
public safety and security
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Data base user interface and query software
Data entry software
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.