Food process operative, food processing worker
Food factory workers make frozen, tinned, baked and dried products.
Salary range: £12,000 to £20,000
How to become a food factory worker
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could get into this job through a food and drink process operator intermediate apprenticeship, or a food and drink advanced process operator advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can apply directly for jobs. You’ll have an advantage if you’ve got:
- experience of working on a production line, especially with food
- GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work on your own
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of maths
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- controlling machinery that processes food
- making sure there’s a constant supply of ingredients
- checking instruments like temperature gauges
- reporting problems with equipment
- keeping machines clean
You could work in a factory.
Your working environment may be cool, noisy and hot.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a shift supervisor or move into quality control.
You could improve your job prospects by taking an industry qualification like a diploma in food team leading.