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Details for Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders


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


  • Observe, feel, taste, or otherwise examine products during and after processing, in order to ensure conformance to standards.
  • Observe temperature, humidity, pressure gauges, and product samples, and adjust controls, such as thermostats and valves, in order 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 in order to determine quantities and types of products to be baked, dried, or roasted.
  • Take product samples during and/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 in order 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 in order 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 in order to synchronize flow of materials.
  • Dump sugar dust from collectors into melting tanks and add water, in order to reclaim sugar lost during processing.


  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • 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.
  • 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.



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

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