Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators operate machines to process raw hides and skins, raw textile fibres, and dye, weave and knit fibres for use in textile and footwear production.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

Tasks

  • preparing machines for operation by selecting and installing attachments and components for specialised functions
  • setting and operating controls used to regulate processing operations
  • starting machines and monitoring operation to detect faults and ensure effectiveness of operation
  • loading drums with hides and skins, textiles, and dyeing and tanning solutions
  • cutting and machining leather and synthetic shoe uppers, and making shoes using moulded and cement construction techniques
  • threading loom shuttles with cross-yarn arms
  • positioning and feeding machines with fibre packages
  • repairing broken yarns by tying and splicing ends
  • examining finished products for defects and variations, reporting faults in machines, and carrying out quality control procedures

Job Titles

  • Footwear Production Machine Operator
  • Hide and Skin Processing Machine Operator
  • Knitting Machine Operator
  • Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operator
  • Weaving Machine or Loom Operator
  • Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator
  • Other Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators
  • Footwear Production Machine Operator

    Operates machines to manufacture ready-to-wear footwear.

    Specialisations: Shoemaking Cutter, Shoemaking Finisher

  • Hide and Skin Processing Machine Operator (also called Leather Production Machine Operator)

    Operates machines to convert raw hides and skins into finished leather for use in clothing, footwear and upholstery.

    Specialisations: Fellmongering Machine Operator, Hide and Skin Fleshing Machine Operator, Sammying Machine Operator, Tanner

  • Knitting Machine Operator (also called Textile Knitter)

    Operates machines to knit fabrics, garment parts and other articles from yarns such as cotton, wool, nylon and rayon.

    Specialisations: Flat Bed Knitter, Warp Knitter

  • Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operator

    Operates machines to bleach, dye and finish knitted garments such as hosiery and woollen garments.

    Specialisations: Textile Dyer, Textile Finisher

  • Weaving Machine or Loom Operator

    Operates looms to weave yarn into cloth, carpet and other fabrics.

    Specialisations: Beamer, Carpet Weaver, Warper

  • Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator

    Operates machines to convert raw textile fibres into continuous untwisted and twisted strands of yarn for use in clothing, carpets, curtains and other fabrics.

    Specialisations: Cotton Ginner, Gill Box Operator, Yarn Comber, Yarn Texture Machine Operator

  • Other Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators

    Includes Feltmaker, Net Maker, Rope Making Machine Operator, Tufting Machine Operator

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,146 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    1800
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    67.7%
  • Female Share

    32.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    89.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 1800 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Victoria and South Australia have a large share of Textile & Footwear Production Machine Operators.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade; and No other main Industry.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 36.4 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,146 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 59 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20055100
20064200
20074400
20083500
20093800
20101900
20112100
20123700
20131600
20141700
20151800
20201200

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsTextile and Footwear Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings11461230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryTextile and Footwear Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs Average
Full-time89.968.4
Part-time1031.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)36.440

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing82.2
Wholesale Trade17.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateTextile and Footwear Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW031.8
VIC75.125.5
QLD019.8
SA24.96.8
WA011.2
TAS02
NT01.1
ACT01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketTextile and Footwear Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-2415.2-9.99.9
25-3447.1-23.423.4
35-440-21.721.7
45-540-21.121.1
55-5913.7-8.78.7
60-6414-5.95.9
65 and Over10-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryTextile and Footwear Production Machine OperatorsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males67.7Males53.6
Females32.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Textile & Footwear Production Machine Operators who are hardworking, can work well with others and are reliable.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Administration and Management

    61% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  2. Production and Processing

    60% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  3. English Language

    56% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Customer and Personal Service

    54% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  5. Personnel and Human Resources

    52% Important

    Recruiting and training people. Managing pay and other entitlements like sick and holiday leave. Negotiating pay and conditions.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    87% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Controlling Machines and Processes

    82% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    79% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    79% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  5. Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings

    75% Important

    Checking objects, actions, or events, keeping an eye out for problems.

Occupational Information Network Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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