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Working as a Food Cooking Machine Operator

What Does a Food Cooking Machine Operator Do

Food and tobacco processing workers operate equipment that mixes, cooks, or processes ingredients used in the manufacturing of food and tobacco products.

Duties

Food and tobacco processing workers typically do the following:

  • Set up, start, or load food or tobacco processing equipment
  • Check, weigh, and mix ingredients according to recipes
  • Set and control temperatures, flow rates, and pressures of machinery
  • Monitor and adjust ingredient mixes during production processes
  • Observe and regulate equipment gauges and controls
  • Report equipment malfunctions to team leaders or maintenance staff
  • Clean workspaces and equipment in accordance with health and safety standards
  • Check final products to ensure quality

Food and tobacco processing workers often have different duties depending on the type of machinery they use or goods they process.

Food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders operate machines that produce roasted, baked, or dried food or tobacco products. For example, dryers of fruits and vegetables operate machines that produce raisins, prunes, or other dehydrated foods. Tobacco roasters tend machines that cure tobacco for wholesale distribution to cigarette manufacturers and other makers of tobacco products. Others, such as coffee roasters, follow recipes and tend machines to produce standard or specialty coffees.

Food batchmakers typically work in facilities that produce baked goods, pasta, and tortillas. Workers mix ingredients to make dough, load and unload ovens, operate pasta extruders, and perform tasks specific to large-scale commercial baking. Some workers are identified by the type of food they produce. For example, those who prepare cheese are known as cheese makers and those who make candy are known as candy makers.

Food cooking machine operators and tenders operate or tend cooking equipment to prepare food products. For example, workers who preserve and can fruits and vegetables usually operate equipment to cook and preserve their products.

Potato and corn chip manufacturing workers operate baking and frying equipment. Sugar and confectionary manufacturers use equipment that blends, heats, coats, and packages candies, chocolates, or other sweets.

Other workers operate machines that mix spices, mill grains, or extract oil from seeds.

How To Become a Food Cooking Machine Operator

There are no formal education requirements for some food and tobacco processing workers. However, food batchmakers and food cooking machine operators typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Food and tobacco processing workers learn their skills through on-the-job training.

Education

Food batchmakers and food cooking machine operators typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Because workers often adjust the quantity of ingredients that go into a mix, basic math and reading skills are considered helpful.

Training

Food and tobacco processing workers learn on the job. Training may last from a few weeks to a few months. During training, workers learn health and safety rules related to the type of food or tobacco that they process. Training also involves learning how to operate specific equipment, following safety procedures, and reporting equipment malfunctions.

Experienced workers typically show trainees how to properly use and care for equipment.

Important Qualities

Coordination. Food and tobacco processing workers must be quick and have good hand-eye coordination to keep up with the assembly line.

Detail oriented. Workers must be able to detect small changes in they quality or quantity of food products. They must also closely follow health and safety standards to avoid food contamination and injury.

Physical stamina. Workers stand on their feet for long periods as they tend machines and monitor the production process.

Physical strength. Food and tobacco processing workers should be strong enough to lift or move heavy boxes of ingredients, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds.

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Average Salary$30,159
Job Growth Rate2%

Food Cooking Machine Operator Jobs

Average Salary for a Food Cooking Machine Operator

Food Cooking Machine Operators in America make an average salary of $30,159 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $41,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$30,159

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range26k - 38k$32k$31,753
Salary Range24k - 35k$30k$29,618
Salary Range22k - 32k$27k$26,967
$22k
$38k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders
B & V Inc. D/B/A Dunkin Donuts
B & V Inc. D/B/A Dunkin Donuts
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$20,473
Food Cooking Machine Operators
Food Cooking Machine Operators
Patsy Grimaldi's
Patsy Grimaldi's
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$25,649Invalid date
$25,649
Food Cooking and Machine Operators
Food Cooking and Machine Operators
Patsy Grimaldi's
Patsy Grimaldi's
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$25,649Invalid date
$25,649
Food Cooking Machine Operators
Food Cooking Machine Operators
Patsy Grimaldi's
Patsy Grimaldi's
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$25,649Invalid date
$25,649
Food Cooking Machine Operators
Food Cooking Machine Operators
Patsy Grimaldi's
Patsy Grimaldi's
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$25,649Invalid date
$25,649
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Food Cooking Machine Operator Demographics

Gender

male

48.8%

female

48.8%

unknown

2.4%

Ethnicity

White

59.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Black or African American

14.8%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Arabic

25.0%

French

25.0%
See More Demographics

Food Cooking Machine Operator Education

Majors

Degrees

High School Diploma

57.1%

Diploma

28.6%

Bachelors

7.1%

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Food Cooking Machine Operator

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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Best States For a Food Cooking Machine Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food cooking machine operator. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. Food cooking machine operators make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $35,274. Whereas in Massachusetts and Connecticut, they would average $34,882 and $34,486, respectively. While food cooking machine operators would only make an average of $34,125 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Hampshire

Total Food Cooking Machine Operator Jobs:
55
Highest 10% Earn:
$47,000
Location Quotient:
1.97
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Food Cooking Machine Operator Jobs:
35
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
2.2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Vermont

Total Food Cooking Machine Operator Jobs:
26
Highest 10% Earn:
$41,000
Location Quotient:
2.43
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Food Cooking Machine Operator Employers

1. Tyson Foods
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$37,078
Food Cooking Machine Operators Hired: 
2+
2. McCall Farms
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$28,866
Food Cooking Machine Operators Hired: 
1+
3. Sodexo Operations
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$29,410
Food Cooking Machine Operators Hired: 
1+
4. Giant Food Stores
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$35,469
Food Cooking Machine Operators Hired: 
1+
5. Little Caesar Enterprises
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$26,012
Food Cooking Machine Operators Hired: 
1+
6. Sauder's Eggs
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$30,602
Food Cooking Machine Operators Hired: 
1+

Recently Added Food Cooking Machine Operator Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020