Tobacco Products Industry Workers


Employment Prospects


Approximately 10,620 people are employed in the tobacco manufacturing industry. Most jobs in this industry are located in factories close to tobacco-growing regions, especially in the South and Southeast. The U.S. tobacco industry is primarily located in the southeastern states of North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Many cigar factories are in Florida and Pennsylvania.

Starting Out

Job seekers should apply in person at local tobacco products factories that may be hiring new workers. Leads for specific job openings may be located through the local offices of the state employment service and through union locals. Employment Web sites and newspaper classified ads may also carry listings of available jobs.

Advancement Prospects

In the tobacco products industry, advancement is related to increased skills. Machine operators may advance by learning how to run more complex equipment. Experienced workers may be promoted to supervisory positions. With sufficient knowledge and experience, some production workers may eventually become tobacco buyers for manufacturers or tobacco graders with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Tips for Entry

Join the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union to increase your chances of landing a job and receiving fair pay for your work.

Be willing to relocate. Many tobacco manufacturing plants are located in the southern and southeastern United States.  

Talk with tobacco workers about their careers. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.