What Are the Different Types of Food Manufacturing Jobs?

Jeremy Laukkonen

The different types of food manufacturing jobs include production workers, maintenance technicians, and food scientists. Over half of the food manufacturing jobs are in production, which involves the processing and packaging of different foodstuffs. Another large sector of employment in this industry involves the installation and maintenance of all the machinery that is required for the production side. There has also been an increasing need for engineers to design and lay out the necessary equipment as well as food scientists to perfect the chemical makeup of manufactured foodstuffs. Sales staffs are also an important part of the food manufacturing industry, as they are responsible for getting the products in front of consumers.

Many private companies in the food industry hire chemists.
Many private companies in the food industry hire chemists.

Most food manufacturing jobs are in production, which covers a wide range of actual job responsibilities. Some production workers are highly skilled, though many others operate machines that are somewhat automated. Many of these food manufacturing jobs involve the processing of meat that is either sent to butcher's shops, grocery stores, or other processing facilities. In many cases, workers at a food production facility will slaughter and prepare an animal to the point where a grocery store can sell it directly to the consumer without the need for any additional butchering work.

Food scientists work in the field of food manufacturing.
Food scientists work in the field of food manufacturing.

Other production jobs involve operating or tending various cooking machines. These machines can often fry, steam, boil, or otherwise cook a variety of different foods in very large quantities. Baked goods make up another large section of food production jobs. Many of these jobs involve large machines that are essentially ovens used to bake products, such as breads and pastries, on an industrial scale.

In addition to production jobs, the food manufacturing industry has a wealth of other associated careers. Since many production jobs require the use of machinery, a large number of food manufacturing jobs consist of various maintenance and repair technicians. Other types of technicians, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) workers can also be required to keep the production facilities running. Beyond the day to day operations, engineers are often needed to lay out new facilities and design the required equipment.

Scientists, such as chemists, are also employed by the food manufacturing industry. These food scientists can have a variety of different job requirements, such as developing new product lines or perfecting existing ones. They can also be called on to establish quality control techniques, such as testing for and eliminating pathogens.

Food manufacturing businesses can also employ both wholesale and retail salespeople. Other support staff can include office workers, bookkeepers, and managers. Many of these jobs are not directly related to the production side of the industry, though they can be necessary for the businesses to operate.

Some sausages are hand-stuffed by trained butchers.
Some sausages are hand-stuffed by trained butchers.

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