Have you ever wondered who decides that an egg is grade A or that a cut of beef is prime? Consumers rely on the professional judgment of agricultural graders and sorters. They determine what's best, what's second best, and what's unacceptable.
Graders and sorters examine agricultural products ...
and unprocessed foods headed for market. They rate them according to size, weight, appearance, and condition. Eggs, for example, are graded according to their color and size. Meat is graded for its fat layers. Products found to be below standard are discarded. The grade that is assigned determines the price that can be charged for the product.
Work is usually in clean, air-conditioned rooms - and because some foods may spoil if they're not examined and shipped quickly, work hours may include evenings and weekends. Sorters and graders spend hours on their feet, and they must be able to lift heavy boxes for examination and quickly determine the quality and grade of products.
Beginners start with simple visual inspection and learn through on-the-job training. A high school diploma is often required of those who test products. Although job growth in this field is limited, there are opportunities at agricultural and food products companies, at produce packaging plants, and at some food stores. Sorters and graders help maintain the high standards that make our nation's food products among the best in the world.
Grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, color, or condition.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Grade and sort products according to factors such as color, species, length, width, appearance, feel, smell, and quality to ensure correct processing and usage.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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 of materials.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
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).
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
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.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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