what is a production worker?

A production worker operates machines and equipment in a factory to produce a specific product. You help manufacture everything from medication and food products to large engine parts. You either have a common working area or perform a variety of tasks that are assigned daily. The job involves repeating the same physical tasks, and it is crucial to match the work pace to meet the equipment speed. Production staff also work in warehouses, preparing items for distribution.

what does a production worker do?

As a production worker, your primary role is to operate machines and production equipment to ensure they achieve the desired functions. You monitor the equipment and perform maintenance to ensure it produces high-quality products. The role involves using power tools to solder, drill or weld various parts. Your job differs based on the industry, but most production workers work in manufacturing. When you work in the mining sector, you maintain equipment and assist with processing minerals.

Some production workers specialise in specific production stages like assembly. Others take up general responsibilities and can work on all stages of production. The role requires manual and physical dexterity to use power tools.

production worker jobs

average production worker salary

In Australia, your median salary as a production worker is $50,000 per year. Your remuneration package starts at $45,000 annually when you join the role. As you gain experience and skills, your salary increases gradually to $55,000 per year. Some employers provide additional benefits like paying higher overtime rates.

how to increase the salary of a production worker

As a production worker, your salary depends on your experience and skills. While most employers don't require specific certificate for production workers, having educational qualifications improves your remuneration prospects. For instance, if you complete a certification in operating particular equipment, it improves your salary prospects. Working in production or manufacturing settings for many years also increases your earnings. Most employers prefer experienced workers.

The industry sector and company size also impact your salary. When you work in small production plants, the duties may not warrant a high remuneration package. However, working in industries like mining and manufacturing with complex responsibilities improves your salary prospects.

Want to know what you will earn as a production worker? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

production worker salary

types of production workers

Production workers work in various industry sectors with different specialisms. Some types of production workers include:

  • engineering production workers: as a production worker, you perform various production process tasks like refining and treating metals. You also operate production plants to create and manufacture equipment parts. Sometimes, the role involves using computer-controlled equipment and interpreting technical drawings.
  • wood production workers: as a wood and timber production worker, you help with milling and processing timber and its products. You assist with producing wood products like plywood, veneered products and fibreboards.
  • clothes production workers: you turn design ideas or sketches into finished products as a clothes production worker.  You are involved in every stage of the clothes production process, from marking fabrics to attaching trimmings. You use specialised equipment to generate various designs and speed up production.
Smiling female standing next to conveyer belt holding a crate
Smiling female standing next to conveyer belt holding a crate

working as a production worker

Your role involves operating machinery and juggling various tasks to ensure efficient production. Here are the specific duties and work schedules of production workers.


education and skills

Formal education isn't mandatory for production workers, but prior experience in production or manufacturing environments is important. To pursue formal qualifications, complete a forklift or machine operations course. The first step in joining the profession is choosing the industry to work in. As a production worker, you can work in construction, engineering, mining, clothing, transport and logistics. Applying for entry-level jobs helps you gain experience through on-the-job training.

production worker skills and competencies

Production workers with industrial-specific skills have a chance to bargain for a higher salary. To succeed in this career, build on the following attributes:

  • strong communication skills: good communication skills are vital for any production worker. You should be able to pass the information on effectively to your team members. Employers need individuals who engage with their co-workers to troubleshoot production issues and work toward common goals.
  • attention to detail: speed and precision are vital in manufacturing plants. Mistakes affect the entire production process leading to defects or delays. While operating machinery, mistakes also endanger you and your co-workers. Pay close attention to ensure you identify minor equipment problems and resolve them before they escalate into major issues.
  • critical thinking: employers are looking for production workers who make sound decisions if unforeseen issues arise at work. Remember that supervisors will not always be present to resolve issues, so you should develop the best solutions for even the most complex problems.
  • aptitude for technology: technology is constantly changing the operations in the manufacturing industry. Therefore, employers need production workers who are interested in technology to adapt to changing processes.
  • good concentration span: production workers work in a fast-paced environment, so it is important to stay focused. The task is also highly repetitive, and a good concentration level will help maintain the quality of the products.
  • physical stamina: production plants hire people who can work for long periods, lift items and sometimes stand throughout the shift. This requires a high level of stamina.

FAQs about working as a production worker

Here are the most asked questions about working as a production worker:


thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.