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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Graders in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Food graders can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. There are currently 470 working food graders in Iowa; this should shrink by 3% to 460 working food graders in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for food graders, which sees this job pool growing by about 0.2% over the next eight years. Food graders generally grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, or condition.

The income of a food grader is about $10 per hour or $22,580 yearly on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $9 hourly or $18,850 yearly on average. Food graders earn less than people working in the category of Farming generally in Iowa and less than people in the Farming category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be a food grader, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. The most common level of education for food graders is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a food grader if you already have a high school diploma.


Food Grader video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, food graders grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, or condition.

Every day, food graders are expected to be able to organize information in a variety of ways. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for food graders to separate fiber tufts between fingers to gauge strength and cohesive quality of fibers. They are often called upon to grade and sort products in line with factors such as color and quality to insure correct processing and usage. They also discard inferior or faulty products and/or foreign matter, and place acceptable products in containers for further processing. They are sometimes expected to weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel. Somewhat less frequently, food graders are also expected to record grade and/or identification numbers on tags or on shipping, receiving, or sales sheets.

Food graders sometimes are asked to place products in containers in line with grade and mark grades on containers. And finally, they sometimes have to weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel.

Like many other jobs, food graders must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Agricultural Equipment Operator. Drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. May perform tasks, such as crop baling or hay bucking. May operate stationary equipment to perform post-harvest tasks, such as husking, shelling, and ginning.
  • Animal Breeder. Breed animals, including cattle, or pet birds. Select and breed animals according to their genealogy, characteristics, and offspring. May require a knowledge of artificial insemination techniques and equipment use. May involve keeping records on heats, birth intervals, or pedigree.
  • Farm Labor Contractor. Recruit, hire, and supervise seasonal or temporary agricultural laborers for a fee. May transport, house, and provide meals for workers.
  • Greenhouse Assistant. Work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.


Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Agricultural/Farm Supplies Retailing and Wholesaling which graduated one and twenty students respectively in 2008.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.