Food, drink and tobacco process operatives


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Food, drink and tobacco process operatives set, operate and attend machinery to bake, freeze, heat, crush, mix, blend and otherwise process foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco leaves.


There are no formal academic entry requirements, though some GCSEs/S grades can be an advantage. Off- and on-the-job training is available. NVQs/ SVQs in Food and Drink Manufacturing Operations are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. NVQs/SVQs in Tobacco Processing are available at Level 2.

Typical tasks

  • sets, operates and attends machinery and ovens to mix, bake and otherwise prepare bread and flour confectionery products;
  • operates machinery to crush, mix, malt, cook and ferment grains and fruits to produce beer, wines, malt liquors, vinegar, yeast and related products;
  • attends equipment to make jam, toffee, cheese, processed cheese, margarine, syrup, ice, pasta, ice-cream, sausages, chocolate, maize starch, edible fats and dextrin;
  • operates equipment to cool, heat, dry, roast, blanch, pasteurise, smoke, sterilise, freeze, evaporate and concentrate foodstuffs and liquids used in food processing;
  • mixes, pulps, grinds, blends and separates foodstuffs and liquids with churning, pressing, sieving, grinding and filtering equipment;
  • processes tobacco leaves by hand or machine to make cigarettes, cigars, pipe and other tobacco products.

Common job titles

Attendant, oven (food products mfr)
Blender, spice
Worker, creamery
Blender (food products mfr)
Foreman (brewery)
Operator, mixer (sugar confectionery mfr)
Man, conche
Maker, cheese
Creamer (biscuit mfr)
Attendant, boiler, temper
Maker, soup
Machinist (brewery)
Roller (food products mfr)
Operator, drier's, grain
Man, service (chocolate mfr)
Binman, tempering
Worker, margarine
Assistant, oven (bakery)
Operator, freezer (fruit, vegetable preserving)
Spinner, sugar
Hand, general (bacon, ham, meat curing)
Maker, lozenge
Operator, votator
Hand, carbonating
Dipper, toffee
Attendant, washer's
Attendant, boiler, vacuum
Spinner (tobacco mfr)
Attendant, sterilizer (distillery)
Maker, glucose
Machinist, mixing (bakery)
Pickler (food products mfr)
Attendant, multiplex
Maker, starch
Moulder, marzipan
Hand, oven (bakery)
Man, room, malt
Inspector, cellar
Washer (fish curing)
Refiner, dripping
Worker, factory (food products mfr)
Man, pan (food products mfr)
Boiler, fruit
Coater, chocolate
Worker, process (dairy)
Maker, margarine
Operative, food
Steriliser (canned foods mfr)
Mate, liquorman's
Fryer (food products mfr)
Machinist, banding
Attendant, earth, fuller's
Worker, tobacco
Machinist, cutting and wrapping (bakery)
Machinist, pie
Bandyman (provender milling)
Maker, cake (sugar confectionery mfr)
Operative, processing, food
Knocker-out (chocolate mfr)
Miller (grain milling)
Cutter, lemon
Screener (grain milling)
Tankerman (whisky distilling)
Screener, seed
Buncher (cigar mfr)
Foreman, mill (food products mfr)
Attendant, washer, beet
Cleaner, scrap (tobacco mfr)
Hand, depository (sugar confectionery mfr)
Maker, marzipan
Operator, saw, band (food products mfr)
Hand, carbonation
Moulder, machine
Servicer, line (food products mfr)
Mixer, flour
Cutter, lozenge
Separator, milk
Teamer (tobacco mfr)
Operator, retort (food products mfr)
Blender, cocoa
Grinderman (grain milling)
Man, granary
Dresser, flour
Maker, biscuit, dog
Maker, essence
Man, chiller (brewery)
Worker, chocolate
Man, toffee
Attendant, equipment, automatic (food products mfr)
Server (confectionery mfr)
Boiler, jelly
Operator, plant, bakery
Cleaner, fruit
Houseman, steep (starch mfr)
Spreader (tobacco mfr)
Worker, sediment (whisky distilling)
Maker, caramel (sugar refining)
Presser, yeast
Worker, plant (bakery)
Presser (cider mfr)
Dresser, seed
Grinder, corn
Man, carbonation
Flusher, starch
Operator (food products mfr)
Operator, plant (food processing)
Spreader (food products mfr)
Attendant, cylinder (tobacco mfr)
Dropper (bacon, ham, meat curing)
Machinist, ice-cream
Worker, process (flour confectionery mfr)
Filterer (alcoholic drink mfr)
Mixer, cream, ice
Miller (brewery)
Maker, mould (sugar confectionery mfr)
Man, kiln (distillery)
Refiner, lard
Stemmer, leaf
Cleaner, rice
Machinist (grain milling)
Preparer (food preserving)
Operator, mill (grain milling)
Worker, confectionery (bakery)
Cutter, sugar
Operator, cuber
Mixer, sugar (condensed milk mfr)
Maker, syrup
Assistant, sample (chocolate mfr)
Operator, moulder
Piper, sugar
Refiner (oil seed crushing)
Man, acid (sugar refining)
Kibbler (food products mfr)
Dresser, skin (sausage mfr)
Man, battery (food products mfr)
Man, pan, boiling
Worker, process (tobacco mfr)
Assistant, dairyman's (milk processing)
Gristman (brewery)
Machinist, dough
Assistant, bakery
Hand, confectionery
Operative, bakery
Operator, evaporator (food products mfr)
Worker, room, icing
Assistant, spinner's (tobacco mfr)
Stover (tobacco mfr)
Hand, mill, flour
Attendant, pan (food products mfr)
Turner, biscuit
Maker, cigarette
Vatman (soft drinks mfr)
Miller, flour
Miller (sugar refining)
Presser, filter (food products mfr)
Worker, process (yeast mfr)
Operative, tobacco
Stripper, leaf
Refiner, fat
Melter (sugar refining)
Operator, plant, spray (milk processing)
Roaster, barley
Worker, factory (brewery)
Screensman, seed
Extractor, oil
Worker, room, nut
Man, sulphitation
Attendant, sieve, rotary (tobacco mfr)
Man, room, tun
Vatman (vinegar mfr)
Stover (food products mfr)
Hand, mill (animal feeds mfr)
Operator, acidifier
Dropper (sugar confectionery mfr)
Cutter, bread (bakery)
Marker (sugar confectionery mfr)
Worker, process (chocolate mfr)
Filler, pie
Crusher (seed crushing)
Hand, deck (milk processing)
Machinist (tobacco mfr)
Maker, jelly
Crusher, seed
Attendant, mixer (food products mfr)
Divider, hand (bakery)
Dryer (brewery)
Attendant, plodder
Foreman (cattle food mfr)
Baker (food products mfr)
Maker, malt
Presser, oil (oil seed crushing)
Machinist, filling, skin
Presser (tobacco mfr)
Siever (food products mfr)
Maker, bunch
Liner, tin (bakery)
Machinist (bakery)
Moulder, cigar
Machinist, tempering
Presser (food products mfr)
Attendant, tank (sugar refining)
Man, malt
Maker, cider
Hearthman (brewery)
Maker, wafer
Assistant, boiler's, sugar
Controller, temperature (tobacco mfr)
Assistant, brewery
Maker, plug (tobacco mfr)
Machinist, milling (food products mfr)
Fridgeman (ice cream mfr)
Machinist, making, sausage
Operator, viscoliser
Machinist, starch
Worker, sugar
Operator, preserving
Filler (tobacco mfr)
Dairymaid (dairy products mfr)
Mixer (flour confectionery mfr)
Blender (tobacco mfr)
Steriliser, milk
Vatman (brewery)
Worker, process (starch mfr)
Piper (sugar confectionery mfr)
Cook (tripe dressing)
Siloman (seed crushing)
Operator, line (food products mfr)
Machinist, biscuit
Machinist, slicing, bread
Assistant, production (food processing)
Man, machinery, grain
Operator, plant, drying (food products mfr)
Washer, meat
Dairyman (dairy products mfr)
Roller, pastry
Presser (distillery)
Mixer, colour (custard powder mfr)
Grinder, sugar
Operator, filter (whisky distilling)
Maker, paste (food products mfr)
Washerman (grain milling)
Filler, chocolate
Hand, mill, grain
Operator, process (food products mfr)
Cutter (bakery)
Maker, sausage
Man, refrigerator (brewery)
Man, evaporator (food products mfr)
Picker-up (tobacco mfr)
Miller, grain
Operator, boiler, sugar
Operator, pan (food products mfr)
Worker, factory (tobacco mfr)
Maker, butter
Dryer, tobacco
Help, baker's
Purifier (food products mfr)
Worker, brewery
Hand, bakery
Worker, cheese
Miller, rice
Mixer, chocolate
Machinist, fondant
Hand, cream
Fireman (malting)
Dairymaid (milk processing)
Maker, pie
Worker, mill (animal feeds mfr)
Boilerman (food products mfr)
Roller (flour milling)
Attendant, room, ice
Beater-up (tobacco mfr)
Panner (tobacco mfr)
Man, evaporator, multiple (sugar, glucose mfr)
Pickler, beef
Foreman (sugar refining)
Miller, mustard
Cutter, biscuit
Worker, process (food products mfr)
Machinist (malting)
Hand, creamery
Sidesman, copper (brewery)
Operator, process (bakery, flour confectionery mfr)
Man, plant, dehydration (food products mfr)
Miller, malt
Clearer, oven (bakery)
Feeder (food products mfr)
Hand, leading (food products mfr)
Refiner (chocolate mfr)
Machinist, centrifugal
Man, mixer (animal feeds mfr)
Miller, corn
Worker, pickle
Operator, sterilizer, milk
Filterer (food products mfr)
Salter (bacon, ham, meat curing)
Speeter (fish curing)
Foreman, brewer
Attendant, pump, air (sugar refining)
Crusher, malt
Man, autolysis
Maker, pickle
Operator, process (brewery)
Attendant, montejuice
Maker, flake
Man, paraflow
Machinist (animal feeds mfr)
Machinist (bread, flour confectionery)
Sifter, flour
Mixer, cake
Dipper, fondant
Maker, meat, potted
Cutter, sweet
Foreman (cigarette mfr)
Operative, powder, baking
Roller, slab
Worker, process (organic oil and fat processing)
Setter (sugar confectionery mfr)
Worker, marzipan
Lineworker (food products mfr)
Picker, fruit (food processing)
Machinist, stemming
Greaser, tin (bakery)
Compounder (food products mfr)
Maker, sauce
Machinist, stoving
Preserver (food products mfr)
Machinist (sugar refining)
Moulder (tobacco mfr)
Maker, biscuit
Preparer, ingredient, raw (flour confectionery mfr)
Man, room, mash
Maker, cream
Weigher and mixer (sugar confectionery mfr)
Machinist (dairy)
Paster, biscuit
Cleaner, skin, sausage
Dropper (sugar refining)
Man, side (brewery)
Paperer, tin (bakery)
Worker, process (vinery)
Machinist, cutting (sugar confectionery mfr)
Mixer, food
Feeder, biscuit
Operative, line (food products mfr)
Cleaner, seed
Cooker (food products mfr)
Liquefier, butter
Confectioner (sugar confectionery mfr)
Enrober (sugar confectionery mfr)
Machinist, washing (food products mfr)
Roller (flour confectionery mfr)
Vatman (cider mfr)
Smoker (food products mfr)
Refiner (sugar refining)
Hand, frame, mustard
Maker, cake, fish
Topper, beet (sugar mfr)
Attendant, inversion
Handyman, nos (grist milling)
Dairyman (milk processing)
Runner, wort
Worker, copperhead
Hand, bench (sugar confectionery mfr)
Maker, water, mineral
Mixer, dough (flour confectionery mfr)
Stripper, biscuit
Help, general (bakery)
Blender, coffee
Foreman (chocolate mfr)
Maker, pudding
Man, mill (salt mfr)
Attendant, granary
Machinist, making, cigarette
Man, pan (sugar refining)
Man, converter (sugar, glucose mfr)
Melter, sugar
Worker, confectionery (sugar confectionery mfr)
Moulder (bakery)
Machinist, mixing (food products mfr)
Racker (vinegar mfr)
Hand, chocolate
Separator, skin, sausage
Cook (food products mfr)
Coverer, chocolate
Foreman (oil seed crushing)
Presser, cocoa
Refiner (food products mfr)
Operator, tandem
Marker, cask
Worker-off (sugar confectionery mfr)
Selector, skin, sausage
Finisher (flour confectionery mfr)
Worker, general (food products mfr)
Assistant, blender's
Manufacturer (tobacco mfr)
Hand, slab
Finisher (sugar confectionery mfr)
Attendant, expeller, oil
Operator, grinder and roller (cheese processing)
Sorter, seed
Machinist, assembly, plug
Operator, cooler, brine
Assistant, miller's
Worker, pan, revolving (sugar confectionery mfr)
Foreman, dairy
Worker, factory (distillery)
Trimmer, vegetable
Assistant, confectioner's (sugar confectionery mfr)
Maker, base (custard powder mfr)
Salter, dry
Maker, cake, pontefract
Mixer, syrup (mineral water mfr)
Maker, jam
Maker, sweet
Cutter, wafer
Cooker, crisp, potato
Machinist, cutting (tobacco mfr)
Moulder (sugar confectionery mfr)
Attendant, molasses
Attendant, centrifugal (food products mfr)
Worker, process (meat products mfr)
Operator, autoclave (food products mfr)
Roller (cigar mfr)
Man, mill, malt
Machinist, cigar
Foreman (sugar confectionery mfr)
Man, granulator
Attendant, conditioner (tobacco mfr)
Hand, essence
Maker, water, soda
Hand, mill, provender
Manufacturer (food products mfr)
Slicer (food processing)
Boiler, liquorice
Peeler, orange
Baker, oven, hand
Man, fermenting (distillery)
Cutter, tobacco
Ovensman (bakery)
Cutter (tobacco mfr)
Machinist, enrobing
Man, liquor (sugar refining)
Worker, process (bakery)
Slicer (bakery)
Shredder (food products mfr)
Cheeser (biscuit mfr)
Fireman (food products mfr)
Mixer, spice
Glazer (sugar confectionery mfr)
Mixer, ice-cream
Operator, room, sifting
Chopper, sugar
Operator, oven, vacuum (food products mfr)
Supervisor (animal feeds mfr)
Man, purifier (food products mfr)
Blender (animal feeds mfr)
Maker, confectionery
Man, safe (sugar refining)
Machinist, cream, ice
Mixer, recipe (food products mfr)
Operator, plant, dehydration (fruit, vegetable preserving)
Processor, meat
Blender, tea
Peeler (food processing)
Turner (brewery)
Engineman, malt
Cuber (seed crushing)
Minder, oven (bakery)
Foreman (grain milling)
Tracer (chocolate mfr)
Rodder (fish curing)
Breaker, egg
Picker (food processing)
Racker (alcoholic drink mfr)
Worker, casein (food products mfr)
Gasman (cider mfr)
Miller, provender
Dipper, chocolate
Hand, frame (sugar confectionery mfr)
Blender (mineral water mfr)
Cutter, leaf
Nibber (cocoa mfr)
Spinner (sugar, glucose mfr)
Dryer (cereal foods mfr)
Machinist (vinery)
Fireman, kiln (food products mfr)
Helper, bakehouse
Dipper (sugar confectionery mfr)
Worker, table (cigar mfr)
Man, filter (alcoholic drink mfr)
Coater, sugar (confectionery mfr)
Splitter (tobacco mfr)
Worker, food
Man, retort (canned foods mfr)
Preparer, fruit, preserved
Maker, bon-bon (sugar confectionery mfr)
Foreman (food products mfr)
Cutter, peel
Paster (biscuit mfr)
Maker, skin, sausage
Leader, line (food products mfr)
Man, table (food products mfr)
Blender, flour
Assistant, bakehouse
Attendant, store, liquor
Foreman, process (food products mfr)
Man, melter (food products mfr)
Operator, brewery
Peeler, potato
Breaker, cake
Man, pan, vacuum (food products mfr)
Cleaner, tripe
Worker, process (distillery)
Brakesman (biscuit mfr)
Assistant, house, char
Manufacturer (soft drinks mfr)
Tankman, seed
Cookerman (cereal foods mfr)
Foreman, milk (dairy)
Hand, cooler (sugar refining)
Calciner, dextrin
Operator, froster (ice cream making)
Worker, process (soft drinks mfr)
Feeder, hopper (cigarette mfr)
Stripper, liquorice
Presser, hop
Cook (bakery)
Machinist (soft drinks mfr)
Machinist, tobacco
Boiler, sugar
Manufacturer, food
Compounder (mineral water mfr)
Operator, sieve, rotex (tobacco mfr)
Boiler, gum (sugar confectionery mfr)
Attendant, basin, outflow
Cutter (food products mfr)
Boiler, sauce
Foreman (dairy)
Blender, whisky
Machinist, toffee
Attendant, evaporator (food products mfr)
Attendant, room, cold (brewery)
Coverer, biscuit
Maker, dough (flour confectionery mfr)
Expeller (oil seed crushing)
Washer, beet, sugar
Finisher (cigar mfr)
Operator, centrifugal
Renderer, lard
Attendant, neutraliser
Worker, butter
Foreman (mineral water mfr)
Machinist, milk, dried
Operator, brake (bakery)
Stover (starch mfr)
Stemmer (tobacco mfr)
Hand, kitchen (food products mfr)
Worker, pudding
Man, filter (vinegar mfr)
Foreman (animal feeds mfr)
Slabber, toffee
Worker, process (brewery)
Machinist, drying (tobacco mfr)
Machinist, threshing, tobacco
Assistant, general (food products mfr)
Worker, process (animal feeds mfr)
Worker, room, starch
Machinist (food products mfr)
Dryer, bacon
Man, floor (malting)
Foreman (tobacco mfr)
Grinder, coffee
Grinder, snuff
Ovenman (bakery)
Operator, blending (custard powder mfr)
Supplier, leaf
Layer-out, tobacco
Conditioner, leaf
Attendant, cooler
Maker, ice-cream
Roller, ball
Slitter (tobacco mfr)
Miller, spice
Worker, factory (soft drinks mfr)
Hammerman (tobacco mfr)
Man, clarifier
Operator, plant (bakery)
Condenser (milk processing)
Firer (malting)
Attendant, evaporator, steepwater
Operator, freezer (ice cream making)
Primer (brewery)
Sifter (food products mfr)
Cooler (brewery)
Man, dough
Greaser (bakery)
Maker, cigar
Stripper, tin (biscuit mfr)
Attendant, press (sugar refining)
Cleaner (food products mfr)
Miller, oil
Sealer (meat market)
Maker, lard
Attendant, stove, starch
Man, tunnel
Preparer, gelatine
Operator, billet (bakery)
Machinist (cider mfr)
Controlman (margarine mfr)
Miller (whisky distilling)
Operator, pan, vacuum (food products mfr)
Cellarman (brewery)
Stripper (tobacco mfr)
Worker, bakehouse
Hand, filtration (alcoholic drink mfr)
Houseman, tun (brewery)
Ovenman (food products mfr)
Carbonator (brewery)
Worker, bakery
Dryer, grain (malting)
Maker, brine (preserves mfr)
Bathman (bacon, ham, meat curing)
Brewer, beer, ginger
Steephouseman (starch mfr)
Topman (bacon, ham, meat curing)
Worker, gelatine
Mixer (tobacco mfr)
Salter, fish
Maker, snuff
Operator, sieve (food products mfr)
Machinist, cigarette
Peeler, lemon
Attendant, oven (bakery)
Assistant, mill, offal (tobacco mfr)
Assistant, churner's
Hopperman (bakery)
Processor, milk
Washer (grain milling)
Crimper, pasty
Roller (oil seed crushing)
Hand, rock (sugar confectionery mfr)
Hand, dairy (milk processing)
Mixer (soft drinks mfr)
Steepsman (starch mfr)
Operator, froster (fruit, vegetable preserving)
Washer, fruit
Filler, sausage
Man, floor and kiln (malting)
Mixer, batch
Hand, plant, bakery
Mixer (food products mfr)
Grinder (food products mfr)
Miller (animal feeds mfr)
Blender, butter
Moulder, chocolate
Hand, liquorice
Worker, room, sausage
Maker, powder
Maker, cream, ice
Presser (oil seed crushing)
Leaser, spinning, machine
Mixer, compound (animal feeds mfr)
Attendant, diffuser
Hand, general (bakery)
Machinist, rubbing (food products mfr)
Preparer (food products mfr)
Bulker (tobacco mfr)
Operator, cooker
Minder, retort (food canning)
Worker, cider
Machinist, drying (food products mfr)
Dryer, pulp
Fireman (bakery)
Man, flavouring
Sorter, bean, cocoa
Operator, silo (tobacco mfr)
Twister, sugar, barley
Operator, homogeniser
Hand, mill (food processing)
Corder (tobacco mfr)
Maker, pepper
Roaster, malt
Finer, beer
Maker, sugar
Kneader (bakery)
Trimmer, cake
Pansman (sugar refining)
Attendant, filter (starch mfr)
Pulper (food products mfr)
Stover (bacon, ham, meat curing)
Conditioner (food products mfr)
Maker, chocolate
Operator, triples
Mixer (animal feeds mfr)
Scalder (tripe dressing)
Hand, divider (bakery)
Dresser, tripe
Tier, sausage
Machinist (distillery)
Assistant, maker's, cheese
Machinist, grading
Linker, sausage
Boiler, biscuit
Brusher, flour
Mixer, sponge (bakery)
Operator, separator (food processing)
Sprayer (food products mfr)
Man, cake, linseed
Disintegrator (food products mfr)
Assistant, room, retort (food products mfr)
Maker, finings
Cracker, egg
Man, room, back (distillery)
Boiler, pan (sugar refining)
Cooler (food products mfr)
Feeder-up (tobacco mfr)
Man, yeast

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.