Canning and Preserving Industry Workers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

There are no minimum educational requirements for many food packaging and filling jobs, although most employers prefer to hire high school graduates; a high school diploma is essential for those seeking advancement. Beginners seldom need previous experience, and usually they can learn their jobs quickly. You should have some basic manual dexterity and be able to maintain good personal hygiene. Generally there is up to one month of on-the-job training.

Postsecondary Training

Many plants provide orientation training sessions for new workers to teach employees how to operate canning and filling machines and equipment. In addition, these companies sponsor programs on industrial safety, food hygiene, and proper sanitation. For those who aspire to management positions, a college degree is recommended, with studies in accounting, management, and other business courses as well as chemistry.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Some skilled and technical staff in plants in some states must be licensed. Retort room supervisors are required by the Food and Drug Administration to attend an instructional program in retort operation.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Successful cannery and food preservation industry workers have a good grasp of basic mathematics, including arithmetic and geometry, have strong manual dexterity skills, and are able to maintain hygienic and sanitary conditions in the workplace. Supervisory workers in this industry need to have good speaking, writing, reading, mathematical, and listening skills so they can understand company documents and procedures and be able to communicate with others. Cannery and food preservation industry workers should also be able to monitor and assess their own performance in order to make improvements or corrections. These workers should also able to use logic and reasoning to solve problems they may develop in the packaging. canning, filling, and food preservation processes. Finally, these workers need to pay attention to detail, have a cooperative attitude, be able to tolerate workplace stress and production demands, and show individual initiative in an often repetitive and uncongenial environment.