Food and tobacco processing workers operate equipment that mixes, cooks, or processes ingredients used in the manufacture of food and tobacco products.
Most food and tobacco processing workers are employed in manufacturing facilities. These workplaces are usually noisy and may be hot or cold, depending on the goods being produced. Because of production schedules, working early morning, evening, or night shifts is common. Work hazards may include slips, falls, and cuts.
There are no formal education requirements for some processing workers. However, food batchmakers and food cooking machine operators typically need a high school diploma. Food and tobacco processing workers learn their skills on the job.
The median annual wage for food and tobacco processing workers was $26,350 in May 2015.
Employment of food and tobacco processing workers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. The need to replace workers who leave the occupation should result in many job openings. Job prospects should be best in large food processing facilities, which are commonly located in rural areas or near smaller cities.
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Learn more about food and tobacco processing workers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.