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Career profile Food Machine Operator

Also known as Fryer Operator, Kettle Fry Cook Operator, Machine Operator, Mogul Operator, Peeler Operator, Retort Operator

Food Machine Operator

Also known as Fryer Operator, Kettle Fry Cook Operator, Machine Operator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$23,070 - $48,330 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • 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.
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What does a Food Machine Operator do?

Food Machine Operators operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.

What kind of tasks does a Food Machine Operator perform regularly?

Food Machine Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.
  • Measure or weigh ingredients, using scales or measuring containers.
  • Tend or operate and control equipment, such as kettles, cookers, vats and tanks, and boilers, to cook ingredients or prepare products for further processing.
  • Record production and test data, such as processing steps, temperature and steam readings, cooking time, batches processed, and test results.
  • Set temperature, pressure, and time controls, and start conveyers, machines, or pumps.
  • Collect and examine product samples during production to test them for quality, color, content, consistency, viscosity, acidity, or specific gravity.
  • Remove cooked material or products from equipment.
  • Pour, dump, or load prescribed quantities of ingredients or products into cooking equipment, manually or using a hoist.
  • Listen for malfunction alarms, and shut down equipment and notify supervisors when necessary.
  • Notify or signal other workers to operate equipment or when processing is complete.
  • Turn valves or start pumps to add ingredients or drain products from equipment and to transfer products for storage, cooling, or further processing.
  • Admit required amounts of water, steam, cooking oils, or compressed air into equipment, such as by opening water valves to cool mixtures to the desired consistency.

The above responsibilities are specific to Food Machine Operators. More generally, Food Machine Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Food Machine Operator salary?

The median salary for a Food Machine Operator is $33,010, and the average salary is $34,180. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Food Machine Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Food Machine Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Food Machine Operators earn less than $23,070 per year, 25% earn less than $27,080, 75% earn less than $39,670, and 90% earn less than $48,330.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Food Machine Operators is expected to change by 5.2%, and there should be roughly 4,800 open positions for Food Machine Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$33,010
Typical salary range
$23,070 - $48,330
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.2%

What personality traits are common among Food Machine Operators?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Food Machine Operator are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Food Machine Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Food Machine Operators typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Food Machine Operator tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Food Machine Operators moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Food Machine Operators moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Food Machine Operators somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Food Machine Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, self-control, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Food Machine Operators, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Food Machine Operators need?

Working as a Food Machine Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Food Machine Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Food Machine Operators

  • 23.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 43.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 20.6% completed some college coursework
  • 5.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 6.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Food Machine Operators

Food Machine Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, food production, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Food Machine Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Food Machine Operators

Food Machine Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Food Machine Operators need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Food Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Critical Skills needed by Food Machine Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Food Machine Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, reading comprehension, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Food Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.