Paper and Pulp Mill Operators operate plants to produce paper pulp from woodchips and to make paper sheets.

Also known as: Paper Machine Operator or Paper Maker.

Specialisations: Bleach Plant Operator, Dryerman/woman (Paper Mill), Fourdrinier Machine Operator, Inverform Machine Operator, Paper Rewinder Operator, Paperboard Machine Operator.

You can work as a Paper and Pulp Mill Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in pulping operations and papermaking operations might be helpful.

Tasks

  • Loads the digester with raw materials and chemicals.
  • Regulates and adjusts the temperature and pressure within the digester.
  • Tests samples by titration or standard colour test to determine completion of process.
  • Drains liquid from digester and monitors the removal of the cooked pulp.
  • Takes samples of bleached material for laboratory testing.
  • Washes bleached material and blends to obtain uniform quality.
  • May be required to add chemicals during the bleaching process and complete chemical or electrolytic tests.
  • Undertakes the addition of size, fillers, dyes, alum and chemicals, and tests for correct consistency.
  • Ensures transfer of completed batch to storage tanks where it is kept under agitation to maintain consistency.
  • May mix and cook colouring matter for dyeing product in the machine.
  • Controls flow of wet pulp through rotary screens to paper making machines.
  • Operates drier and calendar rollers.
  • Operates super-calendar to impart gloss and finish to surface of paper.
  • Operates machine to glaze or impregnate paper with coating mixture.
  • Separates sheets from felts and lays sheets in packs, re-presses packs.
  • Separates sheets from pack and dries.

All Other Stationary Plant Operators

  • $1,886 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Paper and Pulp Mill Operators

  • 1,200 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 90% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 47 years Average age
  • 8% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Paper and Pulp Mill Operators (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 1,600 in 2011 to 1,200 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Paper and Pulp Mill Operators work in many parts of Australia. Victoria and Tasmania have a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade; and Information Media and Telecommunications.
  • 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 47 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (58%).
  • Gender: 8% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

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)
Manufacturing89.3
Wholesale Trade2.3
Information Media and Telecommunications2.3
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services2.1
Other Industries4.0

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.
StatePaper and Pulp Mill OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW28.831.6
VIC44.525.6
QLD9.120.0
SA4.97.0
WA3.110.8
TAS9.22.0
NT0.31.0
ACT0.31.9

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 BracketPaper and Pulp Mill OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.3-5.05.0
20-243.8-9.39.3
25-3415.6-22.922.9
35-4422.7-22.022.0
45-5432.0-21.621.6
55-5914.5-9.09.0
60-648.8-6.06.0
65 and Over2.3-4.24.2

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 QualificationPaper and Pulp Mill OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.8-10.110.1
Bachelor degree4.7-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.7-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV29.6-21.121.1
Year 1222.7-18.118.1
Year 118.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below28.6-12.512.5

You can work as a Paper and Pulp Mill Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in pulping operations and papermaking operations might be helpful.

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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

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

Employers look for Stationary Plant Operators who communicate well with others, are polite, courteous and reliable.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Production and processing

    59% Skill level

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

  2. Mechanical

    54% Skill level

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

  3. Education and training

    46% Skill level

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

  4. Chemistry

    44% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  5. Mathematics

    42% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

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, 51-9012.00 - Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders.

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

    98% Important

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

  2. Exposure to contaminants

    93% Important

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  3. Face-to-face discussions

    91% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  4. Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    87% Important

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  5. Freedom to make decisions

    85% Important

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

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, 51-9012.00 - Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders.

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