Conveyor Operators and Tenders
53-7011.00

Control or tend conveyors or conveyor systems that move materials or products to and from stockpiles, processing stations, departments, or vehicles. May control speed and routing of materials or products.

Sample of reported job titles: Chipper Operator, Debarker Operator, Flumer, Line Operator, Machine Operator, Package Line Operator, Packaging Line Operator, Packing Line Operator, Process Operator, Strapper Operator

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Inform supervisors of equipment malfunctions that need to be addressed.
  • Observe conveyor operations and monitor lights, dials, and gauges to maintain specified operating levels and to detect equipment malfunctions.
  • Record production data such as weights, types, quantities, and storage locations of materials, as well as equipment performance problems and downtime.
  • Load, unload, or adjust materials or products on conveyors by hand, by using lifts, hoists, and scoops, or by opening gates, chutes, or hoppers.
  • Stop equipment or machinery and clear jams, using poles, bars, and hand tools, or remove damaged materials from conveyors.
  • Distribute materials, supplies, and equipment to work stations, using lifts and trucks.
  • Observe packages moving along conveyors to identify packages, detect defective packaging, and perform quality control.
  • Collect samples of materials or products, checking them to ensure conformance to specifications or sending them to laboratories for analysis.
  • Position deflector bars, gates, chutes, or spouts to divert flow of materials from one conveyor onto another conveyor.
  • Repair or replace equipment components or parts such as blades, rolls, and pumps.
  • Manipulate controls, levers, and valves to start pumps, auxiliary equipment, or conveyors, and to adjust equipment positions, speeds, timing, and material flows.
  • Weigh or measure materials and products, using scales or other measuring instruments, or read scales on conveyors that continually weigh products, to verify specified tonnages and prevent overloads.
  • Read production and delivery schedules, and confer with supervisors, to determine sorting and transfer procedures, arrangement of packages on pallets, and destinations of loaded pallets.
  • Operate consoles to control automatic palletizing equipment.
  • Press console buttons to deflect packages to predetermined accumulators or reject lines.
  • Clean, sterilize, and maintain equipment, machinery, and work stations, using hand tools, shovels, brooms, chemicals, hoses, and lubricants.
  • Affix identifying information to materials or products, using hand tools.
  • Move, assemble, and connect hoses or nozzles to material hoppers, storage tanks, conveyor sections or chutes, and pumps.
  • Thread strapping through strapping tools and secure battens with strapping to form protective pallets around extrusions.
  • Contact workers in work stations or other departments to request movement of materials, products, or machinery, or to notify them of incoming shipments and their estimated delivery times.
  • Measure dimensions of bundles, using rulers, and cut battens to required sizes, using power saws.
  • Operate elevator systems in conjunction with conveyor systems.
  • Join sections of conveyor frames at temporary working areas, and connect power units.

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Technology Skills

  • Industrial control software — Control system software; Conveyor control software; Sortation software
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Intelligrated InControlWare
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Hot technology
Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 66% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Very important results.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 59% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 54% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 53% responded “Very important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 27% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Level of Competition — 35% responded “Extremely competitive.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Fairly serious.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 27% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Telephone — 40% responded “Never.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 26% responded “Extremely important.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education
Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include food preparation workers, dishwashers, sewing machine operators, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.
SVP Range
Up to 3 months of preparation (Below 4.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Knowledge

  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 70%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 24%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 5%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

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Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$17.51 hourly, $36,420 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
27,300 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
3,500
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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