Food factory worker

Alternative titles for this job include Food process operative, food processing worker

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

Average salary (a year)

£12,000 Starter


£20,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

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

You'll need:

  • 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

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice General Operative

  • Wage : £394.08 Weekly
  • Location: Goole DN14 0JJ

Apprentice Cider Technician

  • Wage : £211.53 Weekly
  • Location: Winscombe BS25 5RA

Courses In England

Food Industry Skills (Bakery / Hospitality / Kitchen) - Level 2

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Blackpool

Food Industry Skills Diploma level 2

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Leicester

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