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

  • $857 Weekly Pay
  • 2,300 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 87.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 33.3 hours Average full-time
  • 56.5 years Average age
  • 10.3% female Gender Share

The number of Plastics and Rubber Factory Workers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 2,300 in 2017 to 1,900 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 1,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Plastics and Rubber Factory Workers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria.
  • Industries: Most work in the Manufacturing industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (87%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 33.3 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 57 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (64.2%).
  • Gender: 10.3% 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
20076300
20084200
20092200
20105100
20112100
20124700
20133400
20142600
20155400
20162500
20172300
20221900

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 Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings8571230

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)
Manufacturing96.9
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services3.0
Other Industries0.1

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 Factory WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW26.231.6
VIC59.126.2
QLD0.019.7
SA6.46.7
WA5.410.8
TAS2.82.0
NT0.01.1
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 Factory WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1915.2-5.25.2
20-242.8-9.99.9
25-348.9-23.623.6
35-448.8-21.721.7
45-5418.1-20.820.8
55-5931.3-8.88.8
60-6414.8-6.06.0
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 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.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

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, 51-4081.00 - Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic.

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. 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
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, 51-4081.00 - Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic.

go to top