The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Sample of reported job titles:
Batching Operator, Blender, Brewing Technician, Compounder, Dough Scaler and Mixer, Machine Operator, Mixer, Process Operator, Processing Operator, Syrup Maker
- Record production and test data for each food product batch, such as the ingredients used, temperature, test results, and time cycle.
- Follow recipes to produce food products of specified flavor, texture, clarity, bouquet, or color.
- Set up, operate, and tend equipment that cooks, mixes, blends, or processes ingredients in the manufacturing of food products, according to formulas or recipes.
- Mix or blend ingredients, according to recipes, using a paddle or an agitator, or by controlling vats that heat and mix ingredients.
- Clean and sterilize vats and factory processing areas.
- Select and measure or weigh ingredients, using English or metric measures and balance scales.
- Turn valve controls to start equipment and to adjust operation to maintain product quality.
- Press switches and turn knobs to start, adjust, and regulate equipment, such as beaters, extruders, discharge pipes, and salt pumps.
- Observe gauges and thermometers to determine if the mixing chamber temperature is within specified limits, and turn valves to control the temperature.
- Observe and listen to equipment to detect possible malfunctions, such as leaks or plugging, and report malfunctions or undesirable tastes to supervisors.
- Fill processing or cooking containers, such as kettles, rotating cookers, pressure cookers, or vats, with ingredients, by opening valves, by starting pumps or injectors, or by hand.
- Grade food products according to government regulations or according to type, color, bouquet, and moisture content.
- Test food product samples for moisture content, acidity level, specific gravity, or butter-fat content, and continue processing until desired levels are reached.
- Modify cooking and forming operations based on the results of sampling processes, adjusting time cycles and ingredients to achieve desired qualities, such as firmness or texture.
- Inspect vats after cleaning to ensure that fermentable residue has been removed.
- Examine, feel, and taste product samples during production to evaluate quality, color, texture, flavor, and bouquet, and document the results.
- Determine mixing sequences, based on knowledge of temperature effects and of the solubility of specific ingredients.
- Inspect and pack the final product.
- Manipulate products, by hand or using machines, to separate, spread, knead, spin, cast, cut, pull, or roll products.
- Give directions to other workers who are assisting in the batchmaking process.
- Operate refining machines to reduce the particle size of cooked batches.
- Formulate or modify recipes for specific kinds of food products.
- Place products on carts or conveyors to transfer them to the next stage of processing.
- Cool food product batches on slabs or in water-cooled kettles.
- Homogenize or pasteurize material to prevent separation or to obtain prescribed butterfat content, using a homogenizing device.
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Plex Systems Plex Manufacturing Cloud
- Inventory management software — Edible Software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operation 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.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- 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).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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 there is a problem.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Detailed Work Activities
- Record operational or production data.
- Operate cooking, baking, or other food preparation equipment.
- Operate mixing equipment.
- Clean work areas.
- Sterilize food cooking or processing equipment.
- Evaluate quality of food ingredients or prepared foods.
- Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
- Select production input materials.
- Load materials into production equipment.
- Operate pumping systems or equipment.
- Determine food production methods.
- Inspect food products.
- Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
- Monitor instruments to ensure proper production conditions.
- Inspect production equipment.
- Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
- Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Package products for storage or shipment.
- Shape clay or dough to create products.
- Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 60% responded “Very important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 61% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 53% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 56% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “High responsibility.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 47% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
- Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 29% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 24% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 48% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — 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.
- Conventional — 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.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2018)||$14.29 hourly, $29,720 annual|
|Employment (2018)||164,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)|
Slower than average (2% to 3%)
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||24,800|
|Top industries (2018)||Manufacturing|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data
and 2018-2028 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
Own Your Copy Today!