Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators operate machines to manufacture and finish plastic and rubber products.

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

  • operating controls to regulate temperature, pressure, speed and flow of operation
  • measuring and loading materials, items and ingredients for mixing into machines and feeding mechanisms
  • monitoring operation, regulating material supply and adding chemicals and colorants to mixture
  • threading uncoated wire and cable through plastic coating machines, around take-up reels and through dies and cooling chambers
  • laying casings, beads, ply and rubber sheets on moulds
  • operating rollers to remove air
  • operating vulcaniser presses and controlling curing
  • examining output for defects and conformity to specifications
  • performing minor repairs and maintaining production records

Job Titles

  • Plastic Cablemaking Machine Operator
  • Plastic Compounding and Reclamation Machine Operator
  • Plastics Fabricator or Welder
  • Plastics Production Machine Operator (General)
  • Reinforced Plastic and Composite Production Worker
  • Rubber Production Machine Operator
  • Other Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators
  • Plastic Cablemaking Machine Operator

    Operates extruding machines to encase wire, cord, cable and optic fibre in plastic or rubber.

    Specialisations: Insulation Extruder Operator, Optic Fibre Drawer, Wire Drawer (Plastics)

  • Plastic Compounding and Reclamation Machine Operator

    Operates mixing and grinding machines to prepare plastic powders and liquid blends, and recycle waste plastic materials from factory operations.

    Specialisations: Pelletising Extruder Operator, Powder Hand (Plastics), Shredder/Granulator Operator

  • Plastics Fabricator or Welder

    Operates machines to measure, cut, shape, fit and assemble plastics materials to produce plastic products.

    Specialisations: Acrylic Fabricator, Vinyl Welder and Fabricator

  • Plastics Production Machine Operator (General)

    Operates extruding, injection moulding and blow moulding machines to produce finished plastic products.

    Specialisations: Blow Moulding Machine Operator, Extruding Machine Operator (Plastics), Injection Moulding Machine Operator (Plastics), Lamination Machine Operator, Plastic Production Machine Setter, Rotational Moulding Operator (Plastics)

  • Reinforced Plastic and Composite Production Worker

    Operates machines to apply gelcoat, colouring and fibre reinforced plastic to moulds to produce fibreglass and laminated products.

    Specialisations: Fibreglass Gun Hand, Fibreglass Laminator, Resin Transfer Moulding Machine Operator

  • Rubber Production Machine Operator

    Operates machines to manufacture rubber products such as tyres.

    Specialisations: Rubber Belt Splicer, Rubber Compounder, Rubber Extrusion Machine Operator, Rubber Knitting and Reinforcing Machine Operator, Rubber Moulding Machine Operator, Rubber Roller Grinder Operator, Tyre Builder, Tyre Retreader

  • Other Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators

    Includes Thermoforming Machine Operator

Fast Facts

  • $1,069 Weekly Pay
  • 9,200 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 97.4% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.5 hours Average full-time
  • 43 years Average age
  • 8.5% female Gender Share

The number of Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 9,200 in 2017 to 8,900 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 5,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Western Australia or Victoria.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Mining; and Construction.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,069 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (97.4%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.5 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 43 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 8.5% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200714000
200811800
200910200
20107900
201111000
201211600
201310400
20149900
20158300
20169800
20179200
20228900

Weekly Earnings

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 Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10691230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Manufacturing84.9
Mining8.9
Construction2.8
Information Media and Telecommunications1.8
Other Industries1.6

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 2017, 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 Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW18.831.6
VIC33.926.2
QLD11.919.7
SA7.76.7
WA24.810.8
TAS2.12.0
NT0.91.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-195.5-5.25.2
20-245.3-9.99.9
25-3423.0-23.623.6
35-4423.1-21.721.7
45-5421.4-20.820.8
55-5919.4-8.88.8
60-642.3-6.06.0
65 and Over0.0-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Plastics, Rubber & Cablemaking VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators who are hardworking, can work well with others and are reliable.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Production and Processing

    83% Important

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

  2. Administration and Management

    61% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  3. Public Safety and Security

    60% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  4. Mathematics

    54% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. English Language

    50% Important

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

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9197.00 - Tire Builders.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    95% Important

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

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    95% Important

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

  3. Controlling Machines and Processes

    94% Important

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

  4. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    85% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  5. Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings

    83% Important

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

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9197.00 - Tire Builders.

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