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Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Equipment Operators and Tenders
SOC Code: 51-9192.00

Operate or tend machines to wash or clean products, such as barrels or kegs, glass items, tin plate, food, pulp, coal, plastic, or rubber, to remove impurities.

Sample of reported job titles: Anodizer, Clean in Places Operator (CIP Operator), Filler Operator, Parts Cleaner, Sanitation Technician, Sanitation Worker, Sanitizer, Tub Wash Operator, Tub Washer, Wash Crew Person


  • Add specified amounts of chemicals to equipment at required times to maintain solution levels and concentrations.
  • Observe machine operations, gauges, or thermometers, and adjust controls to maintain specified conditions.
  • Set controls to regulate temperature and length of cycles, and start conveyors, pumps, agitators, and machines.
  • Drain, clean, and refill machines or tanks at designated intervals, using cleaning solutions or water.
  • Operate or tend machines to wash and remove impurities from items such as barrels or kegs, glass products, tin plate surfaces, dried fruit, pulp, animal stock, coal, manufactured articles, plastic, or rubber.
  • Record gauge readings, materials used, processing times, or test results in production logs.
  • Examine and inspect machines to detect malfunctions.
  • Measure, weigh, or mix cleaning solutions, using measuring tanks, calibrated rods or suction tubes.
  • Draw samples for laboratory analysis, or test solutions for conformance to specifications, such as acidity or specific gravity.
  • Adjust, clean, and lubricate mechanical parts of machines, using hand tools and grease guns.
  • Load machines with objects to be processed and unload them after cleaning, placing them on conveyors or racks.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches - Adjustable handwrenches
  • Calibrating tanks - Measuring tanks
  • Cleaning scrapers
  • Conveyor system - Conveyor systems
  • Ear plugs - Hearing protection plugs
  • Floor scrubbers
  • Forklifts - Wheeled forklifts
  • Grease guns - Grease dispensing guns
  • Hammers - Multipurpose hammers
  • Hand sprayers - Foamers
  • Laboratory stirring rods - Calibrated measuring rods
  • Mixers or agitators - Water agitators
  • Pallet trucks - Electric pallet jacks
  • Personal computers
  • Pipe and tube cleaning machine - Clean in place CIP systems
  • Power buffers - High speed buffers
  • Pressure or steam cleaners - Hydro blasting equipment; Steam lines
  • Protective gloves - Safety gloves
  • Respirators - Air purifying respirators
  • Safety glasses - Eye protection
  • Scissor lift or lift table - Scissor lifts
  • Screwdrivers - Multipurpose screwdrivers
  • Temperature regulators - Machine thermometers
  • Vacuum hose - Suction hoses
  • Vacuum truck - Vacuum trucks
  • Water pumps
  • Wet mops


  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Interest code: RC
    • 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.

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.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 34% responded “Important.”
  • Time Pressure
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 25% responded “About half the time.”
  • Contact With Others - 23% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 24% responded “Limited responsibility.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 72% responded “40 hours.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 50% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 28% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 31% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 31% responded “Never.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 31% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 34% responded “Fairly important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 25% responded “Never.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 46% responded “Very important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 31% responded “Very serious.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 34% responded “About half the time.”

Work Styles

  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $14.40 hourly, $29,950 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 17,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 2,200

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