Plastics and Rubber Factory Workers perform routine tasks in manufacturing plastic and rubber products.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

Tasks

  • dumping material into hoppers of machines
  • stopping moulding machines and discharging contents
  • cutting foam products from foam blocks
  • cleaning, smoothing and waxing moulds for making products
  • brushing and spraying release agents onto moulds to assist with the removal of moulded products
  • building up layers of fibreglass and resin on moulds
  • cleaning work areas, tools and equipment
  • may smooth rough edges of moulds using files, grinders and sanders

Job Titles

  • Plastics Factory Worker
  • Rubber Factory Worker
  • Plastics Factory Worker (also called Plastics Process Hand)

    Performs routine tasks in manufacturing plastic goods.

    Specialisations: Cellular Plastics Cutter, Fibreglass Lay Up Worker

  • Rubber Factory Worker (also called Rubber Process Hand)

    Performs routine tasks in manufacturing tyres and other rubber products.

    Specialisations: Latex Foam Worker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $857 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    3600
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    81.2%
  • Female Share

    18.8%
  • Full-Time Share

    71.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 3600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown.
Little change 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.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Victoria has a large share of Plastics and Rubber Factory Workers.
  • They nearly all work in Manufacturing.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.7 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $857 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 2 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 8 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
20058000
20066400
20075400
20082100
20094000
20103400
20112600
20125200
20132900
20144700
20153600
20203500

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.
EarningsPlastics and Rubber Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings8571230

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.
CategoryPlastics and Rubber Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time71.868.4
Part-time28.231.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.740

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)
Manufacturing94.2
Other Services5.8

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.
StatePlastics and Rubber Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW30.431.8
VIC37.625.5
QLD16.919.8
SA5.66.8
WA6.311.2
TAS3.22
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 BracketPlastics and Rubber Factory WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1922-5.45.4
20-241.5-9.99.9
25-3419.6-23.423.4
35-4420-21.721.7
45-5419.6-21.121.1
55-599.6-8.78.7
60-647.6-5.95.9
65 and Over0-3.83.8

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.
CategoryPlastics and Rubber Factory WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males81.2Males53.6
Females18.8Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

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

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

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 Plastics and Rubber Factory Workers who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and are reliable.

Knowledge

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

  1. Mechanical

    79% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  2. Mathematics

    75% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Production and Processing

    70% Important

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

  4. Design

    63% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  5. Engineering and Technology

    61% Important

    Use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

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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

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. Controlling Machines and Processes

    88% Important

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

  2. Getting Information

    78% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    75% Important

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

  4. Handling and Moving Objects

    75% Important

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

  5. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    74% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

Occupational Information Network Multiple Machine Tool 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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