Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators operate machines to manufacture paper packaging and other paper products, fibreboard stock, logs, plywood, particle board, solid laminate and similar timber products.

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

    Tasks

    • setting up printing plates, ink circulation systems, knives, creases, cutting dies, and folding and gluing machines
    • loading machines with paper and fibreboard
    • operating machines to form cardboard containers, paper plates, egg cartons, tissue paper and other paper products
    • adjusting and cleaning machines and performing minor repairs
    • securing timber into place and setting saws to produce specified sizes of plank and board to be cut
    • starting machines and feeding stock onto cutting saw, and operating automatic feed mechanisms
    • raising and lowering saws to trim boards and remove defects such as rot and splits
    • controlling lathes and slicing machines to produce veneers, and laminating veneer using glue
    • verifying dimensions of cut stock and accuracy of cuts
    • checking saws and other machines for safety, sharpness and correct functioning

    More about Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators

    All Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators

    All Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators

    • $1,312 Weekly Pay
    • Decline Future Growth
    • Higher Unemployment Unemployment
    • 5,900 workers Employment Size
    • Lower skill Skill level rating
    • 89% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 43 years Average age
    • 6% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
    from 5,900 in 2018 to 5,400 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

    • Size: This is a small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2018.
    • Location: Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade; and Construction.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,312 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (89%, 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: 6% 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
    200811300
    20094800
    20105100
    20116800
    20126500
    20137500
    20145500
    20154000
    20165100
    20177400
    20185900
    20235400

    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.
    EarningsPaper and Wood Processing Machine OperatorsAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings13121460

    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)
    Manufacturing76.1
    Wholesale Trade6.3
    Construction5.0
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing4.8
    Other Industries7.8

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on 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 Wood Processing Machine OperatorsAll Jobs Average
    NSW27.431.6
    VIC29.725.6
    QLD20.720.0
    SA10.47.0
    WA6.410.8
    TAS5.02.0
    NT0.21.0
    ACT0.31.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPaper and Wood Processing Machine OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-192.2-5.05.0
    20-248.7-9.39.3
    25-3420.2-22.922.9
    35-4422.0-22.022.0
    45-5426.1-21.621.6
    55-5910.9-9.09.0
    60-646.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.2-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, 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 Wood Processing Machine OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree3.1-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma3.5-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV24.9-21.121.1
    Year 1221.1-18.118.1
    Year 119.4-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below37.4-12.512.5

    You can work as a Paper or Wood Processing 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:

    • forklift licence

    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 Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry and Forest and Wood Products Industry 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 Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators who are hardworking, have good people skills and are reliable.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Production and Processing

      56% Skill level

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

    2. Mechanical

      56% Skill level

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

    3. Education and Training

      43% Skill level

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

    4. English Language

      41% Skill level

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

    5. Customer and Personal Service

      40% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    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, 51-9196.00 - Paper Goods 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. Exposed to Contaminants

      97% Important

      How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

    2. Sounds, Loud or Uncomfortable

      97% Important

      How often are you there sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?

    3. Spend Time Standing

      96% Important

      How much time do you spend standing?

    4. Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel

      90% Important

      How much time do you spend using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

    5. Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment

      89% Important

      How important is it to this job that the pace is determined by the speed of equipment or machinery? (This does not refer to keeping busy at all times on this job.)

    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, 51-9196.00 - Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders.

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