Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders
SOC: 51-3091.00


Operate or tend food or tobacco roasting, baking, or drying equipment, including hearth ovens, kiln driers, roasters, char kilns, and vacuum drying equipment.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
18,500 employed

Projected (2024):
18,700 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Automatic Oven Operator
  • Bakery Utility Person
  • Bakery Worker
  • Baking Assistant
  • Bean Roaster
  • Belt Conveyor Drier
  • Bone Char Kiln Operator
  • Bun Panner
  • Buttermilk Drier Operator
  • Chocolate Temperer
  • Cocoa Bean Roaster
  • Cocoa Roaster
  • Coffee Roaster
  • Continuous Process Coffee Roaster
  • Corn Popper
  • Curing Bin Operator
  • Curing Room Worker
  • Dehydrator Operator
  • Dehydrator Tender
  • Drier
  • Drier Attendant
  • Drier Operator
  • Drier Tender
  • Drum Drier
  • Drum Drier Operator
  • Dryer Operator
  • Drying Machine Operator
  • Enrober
  • Extra Hand
  • Fish Salter
  • Fish Smoker
  • Flaker Operator
  • Food Dehydrator Operator
  • Food Production Worker
  • Fruit Dryer
  • Furnace Operator
  • Grain Drier
  • Grain Drier Operator
  • Grain Roaster
  • Grain Wafer Machine Operator
  • Granulator Operator
  • Gunner
  • Ham Curer
  • Ham Smoker
  • Icing Machine Operator
  • Instantizer Operator
  • Kiln Firer
  • Linter Drier Operator
  • Long Goods Drier
  • Machine Operator
  • Machine Pie Maker
  • Malt House Kiln Operator
  • Malt Roaster
  • Manufacturing Assistant
  • Manufacturing Associate
  • Manufacturing Operator
  • Meat Curer
  • Meat Smoker
  • Meringuer
  • Milk Drier
  • Milk Drying Machine Operator
  • Nut Roaster
  • Oven Operator
  • Oven Tender
  • Oven Worker
  • Peanut Roaster
  • Peelman
  • Pizza Maker
  • Plant Utility Person
  • Pretzel Cooker
  • Pulp Drier Firer
  • Redrying Machine Operator
  • Rice Drier
  • Rice Drier Operator
  • Roaster
  • Roaster Operator
  • Roasterman
  • Roastmaster
  • Sausage Smoker
  • Smokehouse Operator
  • Smokehouse Worker
  • Smoker
  • Steam Oven Operator
  • Sugar Drier
  • Tobacco Curer
  • Tobacco Drier Operator
  • Vacuum Drier Operator
  • Wafer Machine Operator
  • Wine Pasteurizer

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    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.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Observe, feel, taste, or otherwise examine products during and after processing to ensure conformance to standards.
  • Observe temperature, humidity, pressure gauges, and product samples and adjust controls, such as thermostats and valves, to maintain prescribed operating conditions for specific stages.
  • Operate or tend equipment that roasts, bakes, dries, or cures food items such as cocoa and coffee beans, grains, nuts, and bakery products.
  • Set temperature and time controls, light ovens, burners, driers, or roasters, and start equipment, such as conveyors, cylinders, blowers, driers, or pumps.
  • Observe flow of materials and listen for machine malfunctions, such as jamming or spillage, and notify supervisors if corrective actions fail.
  • Record production data, such as weight and amount of product processed, type of product, and time and temperature of processing.
  • Weigh or measure products, using scale hoppers or scale conveyors.
  • Read work orders to determine quantities and types of products to be baked, dried, or roasted.
  • Take product samples during or after processing for laboratory analyses.
  • Fill or remove product from trays, carts, hoppers, or equipment, using scoops, peels, or shovels, or by hand.
  • Open valves, gates, or chutes or use shovels to load or remove products from ovens or other equipment.
  • Clean equipment with steam, hot water, and hoses.
  • Clear or dislodge blockages in bins, screens, or other equipment, using poles, brushes, or mallets.
  • Push racks or carts to transfer products to storage, cooling stations, or the next stage of processing.
  • Start conveyors to move roasted grain to cooling pans and agitate grain with rakes as blowers force air through perforated bottoms of pans.
  • Smooth out products in bins, pans, trays, or conveyors, using rakes or shovels.
  • Install equipment, such as spray units, cutting blades, or screens, using hand tools.
  • Test products for moisture content, using moisture meters.
  • Signal coworkers to synchronize flow of materials.
  • Dump sugar dust from collectors into melting tanks and add water to reclaim sugar lost during processing.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Automatic hopper scales
  • Baking equipment
  • Box barns
  • Centrifugal coffee roasters
  • Char kilns
  • Conveyor bakers
  • Conveyor dryers
  • Conveyor turntables
  • Cooling machine pans
  • Curing equipment
  • Dissolved oxygen sensors
  • Dough pumps
  • Equipment pressure gauges
  • Equipment temperature gauges
  • Flood handling scoops
  • Fluidized bed dryers
  • Food drying equipment
  • Food handling shovels
  • Food storage bins
  • Forced-air food dryers
  • Gas furnaces
  • Handheld dataloggers
  • Hearth ovens
  • Heat exchanger conversion kits
  • Heat exchanger systems
  • Hot air blowers
  • Humidification systems
  • Humidity sensors
  • Impingement ovens
  • Kiln driers
  • Machine temperature controls
  • Material moving carts
  • Melting tanks
  • Moisture meters
  • Oil furnaces
  • Perforated drum coffee roasters
  • Photospectrometers
  • Rack barns
  • Rack loaders
  • Remote thermometers
  • Roasting equipment
  • Scale conveyors
  • Solid drum coffee roasters
  • Tangential coffee roasters
  • Tobacco boxes
  • Tobacco hanging racks
  • Vacuum food drying equipment
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Excel

  • production

    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220