What Does Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Do?
Within the production industry, food cooking machine operators and tenders are responsible for overseeing industrial cooking equipment. Depending on the employer and clients, tenders may have a hand in preparing food products before cooking. Generally, operators will work with valves, gauges and other controls to ensure cooking equipment maintains the appropriate settings. Additionally, tenders will record important production data and sterilize equipment as needed.
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Skills and Abilities
In the field, tenders develop a unique set of skills that aid in professional success. While on the job, you will have the chance to cultivate the following capabilities:
- Precision: Tenders are responsible for overseeing delicate gauges and valves, which require precision when being adjusted.
- Problem sensitivity: During equipment management, operators need to detect issues early to minimize negative effects. As such, tenders will develop sensitivity for problems and related catalysts.
- Management: Operators are responsible for the oversight and control of industrial cooking equipment and must learn to juggle multiple delicate instruments at once.
- Information ordering: When cooking and operating related equipment, tenders must respect the order of operations and established procedures.
- Communication: Tenders will rely on oral instructions and written communications and procedural directions. As such, they must work well with these informational formats.
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Duties
While your exact daily duties will vary with your employer, operators’ work activities will fall into these general categories:
- Gathering information: Operators will gather instructional and troubleshooting information from a variety of sources in order to maintain equipment functionality.
- Handling and moving instruments: While on the job, tenders may be asked to help unload, install, move or position important materials.
- General physical activities: Operators have a physical profession and these professionals will do many activities that require use of the whole body. In particular, you should have no problem using your arms and legs extensively.
- Overseeing equipment: Tenders must continuously ensure machines are operating at the proper temperatures and performing tasks with full functionality.
- Communicating with a team: In this profession, you’ll work closely with supervisors and coworkers, which requires a proficiency in communication.
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Tools and Technology
During a career, tenders can expect to work with a range of cooking machinery and will have the opportunity to learn how to perform daily maintenance. In the field, many professionals frequently encounter:
- Smoke generators
- Molding machines
- Roasting equipment
- Cooking vats
While there are many cooking machines, the above are some of the industries most common appliances
Education and Training for Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders
If you are considering entering this profession, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. About half of the industry’s professionals have a diploma and around 30 percent only have some high school. The employer will typically provide entry-level professionals with moderate on-the-job training. No apprenticeships or internships are required.
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Salary
Operators in this field can expect to make approximately $27,600, according to median averages. The bottom ten percent makes about $18,300 or $8.78 an hour. However, the top ten percent do reasonably well with a national average of $44,000 annually. These numbers will vary depending on your state of employment.
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Jobs by Geography
California, Texas and Illinois have the largest population of operators and tenders by state, but Nevada, Utah and Idaho show the most growth in the number of jobs available. Nevada leads with 19.6 projected percent change through 2022, while the other two states have 15.4 and 14.5 percent respectively. The field shows moderate growth in many states and might be a good fit for those interested in food production.