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 cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.
On the job, you would:
Clean, wash, and sterilize equipment and cooking area, using water hoses, cleaning or sterilizing solutions, or rinses.
Read work orders, recipes, or formulas to determine cooking times and temperatures, and ingredient specifications.
Observe gauges, dials, and product characteristics, and adjust controls to maintain appropriate temperature, pressure, and flow of ingredients.
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Engineering and Technology
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
listen and understand what people say
read and understand what is written
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
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:
Data base user interface and query software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.