Recycling Workers perform routine tasks in recycling facilities, such as sorting, packing and storing plastics, glass, paper, metals and other recyclable materials which have been collected from household, commercial and industrial premises in preparation for use in creating new products.

Also known as: Recycling Sorter.

You can work as a Recycling Worker without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided.

Tasks

  • Dismantles products (such as cars and appliances) and separates their components.
  • Identifies and removes hazardous substances (including chemicals from discarded appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators).
  • Sorts materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for cleaning, recycling, processing, storing, shipping or grading.
  • Cleans materials (such as metals) according to recycling requirements and prepares them for production (such as cutting in preparation for fabrication or processing).
  • Operates equipment, such as forklifts, automated refuse and manual recycling collection vehicles, to move materials for processing.
  • Deposits recoverable materials into chutes or places materials on conveyor belts.
  • Maintains a clean work area to ensure workplace safety.
  • Cleans, disassembles, repairs and maintains the recycling equipment so that it works properly.
  • Cuts discarded products (such as appliances and automobiles) into small pieces using saws, blow torches and other hand or power tools, for easier disposal.
  • May collect recyclable materials from curb sides for delivery to designated facilities.

All Other Factory Process Workers

  • $945 Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Average unemployment Unemployment

Recycling Workers

  • 2,200 workers Employment Size
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • 59% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 15% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Recycling Workers (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 2,400 in 2011 to 2,200 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Recycling Workers work in many parts of Australia. South Australia has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; Wholesale Trade; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time: More than half work full-time (59%, similar to the average of 66%), but there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 15% 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)
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services50.7
Wholesale Trade14.7
Health Care and Social Assistance12.2
Manufacturing5.9
Other Industries16.5

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.
StateRecycling WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW33.131.6
VIC22.425.6
QLD16.220.0
SA14.87.0
WA9.010.8
TAS2.92.0
NT0.61.0
ACT1.01.9

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 BracketRecycling WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-196.5-5.05.0
20-2413.6-9.39.3
25-3421.1-22.922.9
35-4419.6-22.022.0
45-5422.4-21.621.6
55-598.7-9.09.0
60-645.9-6.06.0
65 and Over2.3-4.24.2

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 QualificationRecycling WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.8-10.110.1
Bachelor degree2.5-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma3.8-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV14.0-21.121.1
Year 1225.2-18.118.1
Year 119.3-4.84.8
Year 10 and below44.4-12.512.5

You can work as a Recycling Worker without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • forklift licence
  • manual drivers licence

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • 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 VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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

Employers look for Factory Process Workers who are reliable, can work independently and are hardworking.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Production and Processing

    68% Skill level

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

  2. Mechanical

    57% Skill level

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

  3. Education and Training

    55% Skill level

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

  4. English Language

    52% Skill level

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

  5. Public Safety and Security

    51% Skill level

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

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, 51-9199.01 - Recycling and Reclamation Workers.

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

    97% Important

    How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

  2. Exposed to Contaminants

    89% Important

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

  3. Spend Time Standing

    87% Important

    How much time do you spend standing?

  4. Outdoors, Exposed to Weather

    86% Important

    How often do you work outdoors, exposed to the weather?

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

    85% Important

    How much time do you spend 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, 51-9199.01 - Recycling and Reclamation Workers.

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