Canning and Preserving Industry Workers

Factory Workers Preserving Salmon Filets

Canning and preserving industry workers monitor equipment and perform routine tasks in food-processing plants that can, preserve, and quick-freeze such foods as vegetables, fruits, frozen dinners, jams, jellies, preserves, pickles, and soups. They also process and preserve seafood, including shrimp, oysters, crabs, clams, and fish. The U.S. Department of Labor considers canning and preserving food industry workers to be an occupational subset of packaging and filling machine operators and tenders. As of May 2015, there are approximately 378,560 packaging and filling machine operators and tenders working in the United States with about 21,920 of these categorized workers working in the fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing industry.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Mix or blend ingredients for food products; follow recipes; record production and test data; set up, operate, and monitor equipment; clean and sterilize vats and factory processing areas
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) California, Illinois, Texas, Ohio and Wisconsin; major metropolitan centers within these states.
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Agriculture
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Mathematics
Experience Prior food preparation experience; on-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Hands On
  • Technical
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Food Technologist
  • Food Processing Industry Field Contractor
  • Food Preserving or Cannery Worker
  • Production Helper