Set up and operate equipment that mixes or blends ingredients used in the manufacturing of food products. Includes candy makers and cheese makers.
Sample of reported job titles: Batching Operator, Blender, Brewing Technician, Compounder, Dosier Operator, Dough Scaler, Mix Technician, Mixer, Mixer Operator, Syrup Maker
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Record production and test data for each food product batch, such as the ingredients used, temperature, test results, and time cycle.
- Clean and sterilize vats and factory processing areas.
- 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.
- Follow recipes to produce food products of specified flavor, texture, clarity, bouquet, or color.
- Give directions to other workers who are assisting in the batchmaking process.
- Select and measure or weigh ingredients, using English or metric measures and balance scales.
- Press switches and turn knobs to start, adjust, and regulate equipment, such as beaters, extruders, discharge pipes, and salt pumps.
- Determine mixing sequences, based on knowledge of temperature effects and of the solubility of specific ingredients.
- Observe and listen to equipment to detect possible malfunctions, such as leaks or plugging, and report malfunctions or undesirable tastes to supervisors.
- Observe gauges and thermometers to determine if the mixing chamber temperature is within specified limits, and turn valves to control the temperature.
- Turn valve controls to start equipment and to adjust operation to maintain product quality.
- 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.
- Examine, feel, and taste product samples during production to evaluate quality, color, texture, flavor, and bouquet, and document the results.
- Test food product samples for moisture content, acidity level, specific gravity, or butter-fat content, and continue processing until desired levels are reached.
- Inspect vats after cleaning to ensure that fermentable residue has been removed.
- 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.
- Manipulate products, by hand or using machines, to separate, spread, knead, spin, cast, cut, pull, or roll products.
- Cool food product batches on slabs or in water-cooled kettles.
- Place products on carts or conveyors to transfer them to the next stage of processing.
- Homogenize or pasteurize material to prevent separation or to obtain prescribed butterfat content, using a homogenizing device.
- Grade food products according to government regulations or according to type, color, bouquet, and moisture content.
- Operate refining machines to reduce the particle size of cooked batches.
- Formulate or modify recipes for specific kinds of food products.
- Inspect and pack the final product.
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- 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.
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- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- 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.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- 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.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- 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.
- 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 Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
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- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- 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.
- 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.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- 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 materials.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Record operational or production data.
- Clean work areas.
- Sterilize food cooking or processing equipment.
- Inspect food products.
- Operate cooking, baking, or other food preparation equipment.
- Operate mixing equipment.
- Inspect production equipment.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
- Select production input materials.
- Determine food production methods.
- Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
- Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Load materials into production equipment.
- Operate pumping systems or equipment.
- Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
- Monitor instruments to ensure proper production conditions.
- Shape clay or dough to create products.
- Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas.
- Evaluate quality of food ingredients or prepared foods.
- Package products for storage or shipment.
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- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 33% responded “More than half the time.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 29% responded “Very important.”
- Time Pressure — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 56% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 14% responded “About half the time.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
- Physical Proximity — 42% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 37% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 31% responded “Some freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 47% responded “Important results.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 47% responded “40 hours.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 29% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 42% responded “Less than half the time.”
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|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)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|38||High school diploma or equivalent
|27||Some college, no degree|
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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.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- 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.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$15.72 hourly, $32,710 annual|
|Employment (2020)||159,300 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||20,700|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: 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.
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Food and tobacco processing workers
- The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
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