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Working as a Machine Feeder

What Does a Machine Feeder Do

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Others feed or remove material to or from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

Duties

Hand laborers and material movers typically do the following:

  • Manually move material from one place to another
  • Pack or wrap products by hand
  • Keep a record of the material they move
  • Signal machine operators who help move material
  • Clean cars, equipment, and workplaces

In warehouses and wholesale and retail operations, hand laborers and material movers work closely with material moving machine operators and material recording clerks. Some workers are employed in manufacturing industries, where they load material onto conveyor belts or other machines.

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment wash automobiles and other vehicles, as well as storage tanks, pipelines, and related machinery. They use cleaning products, vacuums, hoses, and brushes. Most of these workers clean cars at a car wash, an automobile dealership, or a rental agency. Some clean industrial equipment at manufacturing firms. Some—for example, those who work at a car wash—interact with customers.

Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers move materials to and from storage and production areas, loading docks, delivery trucks, ships, and containers. Although their specific duties may vary, most of these movers, often called pickers, work in warehouses. Some workers retrieve products from storage and move them to loading areas. Other workers load and unload cargo from a truck. When moving a package, pickers keep track of the package number, sometimes with a hand-held scanner, to ensure proper delivery. Sometimes they open containers and sort the material.

Hand packers and packagers package a variety of materials by hand. They may label cartons, inspect items for defects, and keep records of items packed. Some of these workers pack materials for shipment and move them to a loading dock. Many hand packers are employed by grocery stores, where they bag groceries for customers at checkout.

Machine feeders and offbearers process materials by feeding them into equipment or by removing them from equipment. The equipment is generally operated by other workers, such as material moving machine operators. Machine feeders and offbearers help the operator if the machine becomes jammed or needs minor repairs. Machine feeders track the amount of material they process during a shift.

Refuse and recyclable material collectors gather garbage and recyclables from homes and businesses to transport to a dump, landfill, or recycling center. Many collectors lift garbage cans by hand and empty them into their truck. Some collectors drive the garbage or recycling truck along a scheduled route. When collecting materials from a dumpster, drivers use a hydraulic lift to empty the contents of the dumpster into their truck.

How To Become a Machine Feeder

Formal education is not usually required to become a hand laborer or material mover. Employers typically require only that applicants be physically able to perform the work.

Education

There are no formal education requirements to become a hand laborer or material mover.

Training

Most positions for hand laborers and material movers require less than 1 month of on-the-job training. Some workers need only a few days of training, and most training is done by a supervisor or a more experienced worker who decides when trainees are ready to work on their own.

Workers learn safety rules as part of their training. Many of these rules are standardized through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Refuse and recyclable material collectors who drive trucks that exceed a certain capacity—such as vehicles with the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo exceeding 26,000 pounds—must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Obtaining a CDL requires passing written, skill, and vision tests.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Hand laborers and material movers who work with the public, such as grocery baggers or car wash attendants, must be pleasant and courteous to customers.

Hand–eye coordination. Most hand laborers and material movers use their arms and hands to manipulate objects or move objects into specific positions.

Listening skills. Hand laborers and material movers follow instructions that a supervisor gives them.

Physical stamina. Hand laborers and material movers need the endurance to perform strenuous tasks, such as moving or cleaning objects, throughout the day.

Physical strength. Some workers must be able to lift and carry heavy objects.

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Average Salary$27,793
Job Growth Rate4%

Machine Feeder Career Paths

Top Careers Before Machine Feeder

Cashier
18.9 %

Top Careers After Machine Feeder

Cashier
9.7 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Machine Feeder

Machine Feeders in America make an average salary of $27,793 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $34,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Salary
$27,793

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Carol Stream, IL
Salary Range29k - 42k$35k$35,128
$29k
$42k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Machine Feeder/Stacker
Machine Feeder/Stacker
Manpowergroup
Manpowergroup
12/29/2020
12/29/2020
$29,21812/29/2020
$29,218
Machine Feeder
Machine Feeder
Spherion
Spherion
11/05/2020
11/05/2020
$22,95711/05/2020
$22,957
Machine Feeder
Machine Feeder
Spherion
Spherion
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$25,04410/23/2020
$25,044
Machine Feeder/Stacker
Machine Feeder/Stacker
Manpowergroup
Manpowergroup
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$29,21810/23/2020
$29,218
Machine Feeders
Machine Feeders
The Reserves Network
The Reserves Network
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$26,08807/30/2020
$26,088
See More Recent Salaries

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Machine Feeder Demographics

Gender

male

61.0 %

female

35.8 %

unknown

3.2 %

Ethnicity

White

66.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.3 %

Black or African American

10.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

French

33.3 %

Spanish

33.3 %

Mandarin

16.7 %
See More Demographics

Machine Feeder Education

Majors

Business
19.1 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

52.1 %

Diploma

18.8 %

Associate

12.5 %
Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Best States For a Machine Feeder

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a machine feeder. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island. Machine feeders make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $37,703. Whereas in Illinois and Iowa, they would average $34,989 and $34,627, respectively. While machine feeders would only make an average of $32,665 in Rhode Island, 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. Rhode Island

Total Machine Feeder Jobs:
13
Highest 10% Earn:
$48,000
Location Quotient:
6.38
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. Kansas

Total Machine Feeder Jobs:
13
Highest 10% Earn:
$45,000
Location Quotient:
2.46
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. Illinois

Total Machine Feeder Jobs:
43
Highest 10% Earn:
$49,000
Location Quotient:
1.55
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 Machine Feeder Employers

1. Tyson Foods
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$29,397
Machine Feeders Hired: 
6+
2. ManpowerGroup
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$28,432
Machine Feeders Hired: 
5+
3. Quad
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$39,463
Machine Feeders Hired: 
4+
4. Graphic Packaging International
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$41,852
Machine Feeders Hired: 
3+
5. MIDSTATES PRINTING
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$25,609
Machine Feeders Hired: 
3+
6. Adecco
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$26,262
Machine Feeders Hired: 
3+
Updated October 2, 2020