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Food factory worker Food process operative, food processing worker

Food factory workers make frozen, tinned, baked and dried products.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £12,000 to £20,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll find it easier to get work if you've got:

  • experience of working on a production line
  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills to operate machinery
  • attention to detail to spot problems
  • the ability to work quickly and methodically

3. 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'll work to high standards of hygiene. You'll need to follow health and safety guidelines.

4. Salary

Starter: £12,000 to £15,000

Experienced: £13,000 to £15,000

Highly Experienced: £15,000 to £20,000 (supervisor)

You may earn extra money for working nights.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work 37 to 40 hours a week. You may work shifts, including days, nights and weekends.

You'll work on a production line, operating machinery. The temperature in the factory will depend on the food you're making.

You'll wear clean, protective clothing and a hat or hairnet.

6. 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.

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Last updated: 21 August 2017