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Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender

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What You Need to Know About Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender

Job Description & Duties Operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.

Life As a Cooking Machine Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Notify or signal other workers to operate equipment or when processing is complete.
  • Observe gauges, dials, and product characteristics, and adjust controls to maintain appropriate temperature, pressure, and flow of ingredients.
  • Remove cooked material or products from equipment.
  • Tend or operate and control equipment, such as kettles, cookers, vats and tanks, and boilers, to cook ingredients or prepare products for further processing.
  • Operate auxiliary machines and equipment, such as grinders, canners, and molding presses, to prepare or further process products.
  • Clean, wash, and sterilize equipment and cooking area, using water hoses, cleaning or sterilizing solutions, or rinses.

What a Cooking Machine Operator Should Know

These are the skills Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders say are the most useful in their careers:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

  • Thermoscrew Operator
  • Cooker Mechanic
  • Meal Cooker
  • Sausage Cooker
  • Process Cheese Cooker

What Kind of Cooking Machine Operator Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 37,200 jobs in the United States for Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2.4% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 900 new jobs for Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,200 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Cooking Machine Operator are Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont. Watch out if you plan on working in North Dakota, New Mexico, or Missouri. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders ranges between about $21,230 and $45,400 a year.


Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders who work in Michigan, Oregon, or Nebraska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $26,750
Arkansas $34,190
California $30,120
Colorado $31,110
Connecticut $30,980
Florida $25,990
Georgia $26,410
Hawaii $37,710
Idaho $36,410
Illinois $31,740
Indiana $30,310
Iowa $34,940
Kansas $35,780
Kentucky $34,180
Louisiana $32,200
Maine $29,980
Maryland $28,800
Massachusetts $35,950
Michigan $38,600
Minnesota $34,730
Mississippi $27,440
Missouri $28,840
Nebraska $41,260
Nevada $29,850
New Hampshire $27,680
New Jersey $31,420
New Mexico $24,740
New York $33,290
North Carolina $30,690
North Dakota $33,330
Ohio $35,260
Oklahoma $30,030
Oregon $35,760
Pennsylvania $34,540
South Carolina $32,110
South Dakota $30,150
Tennessee $30,640
Texas $28,130
Utah $35,430
Virginia $32,210
Washington $34,940
Wisconsin $35,410

What Tools & Technology do Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders may use on a daily basis:

  • Database software

Becoming a Cooking Machine Operator

What education or degrees do I need to become a Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender?


What work experience do I need to become a Cooking Machine Operator?


Who Employs Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders?


Below are examples of industries where Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders work:


You May Also Be Interested In…

Are you already one of the many Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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