Sterilizer Operator

Keep food processing centers safe with super-heated steam cleaning.
picture of Sterilizer Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $37,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Sterilizer Operators do?

Food prep starts in the factory, not the kitchen. Sterilizer Operators are in charge of safely processing food items to ship out to stores the world over. Each shipment should be free of damaged goods that at best would hurt the company’s reputation and at worst would make consumers sick.

A Sterilizer Operator works in a factory, monitoring assembly lines that process items such as canned condensed milk to ensure compliance with safety and sterilization regulations. Since you can’t check each can by hand, the sterilization process relies on keeping machinery clean, checking random test cans for quality, and watching for malfunctions during production. Alarm systems go off when the equipment starts acting wonky, and that’s your cue as Sterilizer Operator to shut it down.

In between production times, you sterilize the machinery with powerful cleaning solutions. When it’s time to process a fresh batch of items, you check the product list and then, like a master Chef, create the perfect recipe of temperature, pressure, and time control settings to pump out all those cans.

The quality assurance part of your job means snagging damaged goods off the line, and selecting items at random to subject to safety inspections. If you find an unhealthy food item in one can, you need to pull the rest. It may seem like two steps forward and one step back, but in the food industry, you can never be too careful.

Should I be a Sterilizer Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Sterilizer Operator

    Most Sterilizer Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9waaaa&chl=no+college+%2873%25%29|certificate+%2827%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,73,73
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