Production Worker Job Description
Production workers are on the front lines in factories and warehouses, as well as in other businesses. They’re the employees who operate machines, assemble products or package them for delivery. Aspiring production workers must be able to stand or sit for hours at a time, use their hands to perform tasks, and to enjoy work that involves repetitive tasks.
Production Worker Job Description
The definition of what a production worker does varies, depending on the needs of the employer. In highly automated industries, the employees might only monitor robotic machines and add raw materials, as needed, whereas in other businesses, workers may assemble product components by hand.
A production staff job description may include the following tasks:
Machinery Operation: Production workers may operate or monitor the same machines every day or alternate between a few different types of machines. They must understand how the machinery works and quickly identify potential issues that could halt the production line.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Line workers clean machinery during their shifts and perform basic maintenance, such as clearing jams and oiling parts. They may also clean their work areas at the end of shifts.
Pulling and Packaging Items: Production workers in some industries pull items from shelves to fulfill orders, sort products and package items for shipment. As part of their duties, they may drive forklifts or operate other machinery.
Assembling Components: Although automation has reduced the number of employees on assembly lines, some product components must still be assembled by hand. Workers must meet minimum production goals during their shifts and pay close attention to their work to prevent mistakes.
Weighing and Measuring: Workers responsible for adding raw materials to the product line may weigh, measure or wash ingredients before adding them to the production line.
Quality Control: Employees who work in production control inspect products before they’re sent to distributors or retailers and identify issues that could affect the integrity or safety of products.
Production jobs involve frequent lifting and bending, as well as the ability to work quickly and accurately to perform tasks. Employees must be willing to wear safety equipment, such as ear protection, goggles or steel-toed shoes. Some industries require employees to work in clean rooms and wear special clothing that prevents product contamination. Shift work, including overnight and weekend hours, is often required in factories, production facilities and warehouses.
Education and Training
A high school diploma or the equivalent is required for production worker jobs. You may be more likely to be hired, if you have previous experience on the field, although on-the-job training is usually provided for new workers. Some production employees act as official or unofficial mentors for new employees, helping them learn how to operate machinery and understand policies and procedures.
Salary and Job Outlook
The mean hourly wage for production workers is $15.82, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in motor vehicle parts manufacturing make $20.16, the highest hourly mean average rate, while employment services workers make the least at $13.67 per hour. The states that have the greatest number of production worker jobs include Illinois, California, Ohio, Louisiana and Georgia, according to the BLS.
Some companies provide bonuses for meeting production goals or they offer profit sharing. After a few years on the job, you may be able to obtain a supervisory position, which will slightly increase your income.