Conveyor Operator/Tender  What They Do

Just the Facts


Controls or tends 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.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Positions deflector bars, gates, chutes, or spouts to divert flow of materials from one conveyor onto another conveyor.
  • Weighs or measures materials and products, using scales or other measuring instruments, or reads scales on conveyors that continually weigh products, to verify specified tonnages and prevent overloads.
  • Manipulates controls, levers, and valves to start pumps, auxiliary equipment, or conveyors, and to adjust equipment positions, speeds, timing, and material flows.
  • Records production data such as weights, types, quantities, and storage locations of materials, as well as equipment performance problems and downtime.
  • Informs supervisors of equipment malfunctions that need to be addressed.
  • Cleans, sterilizes, and maintains equipment, machinery, and work stations, using hand tools, shovels, brooms, chemicals, hoses, and lubricants.
  • Observes conveyor operations and monitors lights, dials, and gauges to maintain specified operating levels and to detect equipment malfunctions.
  • Operates elevator systems in conjunction with conveyor systems.
  • Reads production and delivery schedules, and confers with supervisors, to determine sorting and transfer procedures, arrangement of packages on pallets, and destinations of loaded pallets.
  • Repairs or replaces equipment components or parts such as blades, rolls, and pumps.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Sinter Feeder -- Tends table-feeding equipment that regulates flow of finely ground iron ore, coke, and flue dust from storage bins onto sintering machine conveyors.
  • Denester Operator --