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Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender

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What Do Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender Do?

Cooking Machine Operator Job Description 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

  • Activate agitators and paddles to mix or stir ingredients, stopping machines when ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Remove cooked material or products from equipment.
  • Notify or signal other workers to operate equipment or when processing is complete.
  • Operate auxiliary machines and equipment, such as grinders, canners, and molding presses, to prepare or further process products.
  • Read work orders, recipes, or formulas to determine cooking times and temperatures, and ingredient specifications.
  • Admit required amounts of water, steam, cooking oils, or compressed air into equipment, such as by opening water valves to cool mixtures to the desired consistency.

Cooking Machine Operator Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders say are important on the job.

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.

Types of Cooking Machine Operator Jobs

  • Potato Pancake Frier
  • Process Cheese Cooker
  • Scalder
  • Cooker Mechanic
  • Dextrine Mixer

Job Opportunities for Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

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. The BLS estimates 5,200 yearly job openings in this field.


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.

Cooking Machine Operator Salary

The typical yearly salary for Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders is somewhere between $21,230 and $45,400.


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 different U.S. states?

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?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders:

  • Database software

How to Become a Cooking Machine Operator

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


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those who work as a Food Cooking Machine Operator or Tender sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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