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

    You can work as a Plastics or Rubber Production Machine Operator without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    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

    All Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators

    • $1,294 Weekly Pay
    • Decline Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 7,700 workers Employment Size
    • Lower skill Skill level rating
    • 90% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 43 years Average age
    • 9% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
    from 7,700 in 2018 to 6,600 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 3,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 600 a year).

    • Size: This is a small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Mining; and Construction.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,294 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (90%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 43 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 9% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200811800
    200910200
    20107900
    201111000
    201211500
    201310400
    20149800
    20158100
    20169000
    20177400
    20187700
    20236600

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings12941460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Manufacturing71.0
    Mining8.2
    Construction6.2
    Wholesale Trade4.4
    Other Industries10.2

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW23.931.6
    VIC32.825.6
    QLD20.120.0
    SA7.87.0
    WA13.310.8
    TAS1.72.0
    NT0.51.0
    ACT0.01.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    15-191.6-5.05.0
    20-246.9-9.39.3
    25-3420.7-22.922.9
    35-4423.8-22.022.0
    45-5426.1-21.621.6
    55-5911.3-9.09.0
    60-647.0-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.6-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationPlastics and Rubber Production Machine OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.9-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree4.5-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.4-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV30.3-21.121.1
    Year 1222.9-18.118.1
    Year 118.4-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below27.6-12.512.5

    You can work as a Plastics or Rubber Production Machine Operator without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • construction induction card (white card)
    • working in confined spaces ticket
    • forklift licence
    • driver's licence
    • working with children check
    • Psychometric or aptitude tests

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      55% Skill level

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

    2. Production and processing

      46% Skill level

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

    3. Mathematics

      41% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    4. Education and training

      38% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    5. Engineering and technology

      36% Skill level

      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 skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-4072.00 - Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Wear common protective or safety equipment

      100% Important

      Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

    2. Face-to-face discussions

      93% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    3. Spend time standing

      91% Important

      Spend time standing at work.

    4. Exposure to contaminants

      90% Important

      Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

    5. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

      87% Important

      Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-4072.00 - Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic.

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