Production worker (manufacturing)

Alternative titles for this job include Process operative, factory worker

Production workers manufacture goods and parts in industries like pharmaceuticals, food and drink, construction and engineering.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter


£20,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a production worker (manufacturing)

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take an intermediate apprenticeship in engineering manufacturing or lean manufacturing.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You could apply for production jobs directly. Some employers may expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent qualifications. Experience of production line work would be useful.

You may have to take a test at interview to assess your practical skills.

More information

Career tips

A forklift truck training certificate could be useful for some jobs.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • measuring, grading and feeding batches of raw materials into production machinery
  • operating production line equipment, like a conveyor line in a canning factory
  • assembling goods on a production line, like fitting circuit boards into computers
  • reporting equipment faults to maintenance staff
  • finishing products, for example applying protective coatings
  • monitoring the production process and carrying out basic testing and quality checks
  • storing goods and raw materials in the factory or warehouse
  • using lifting equipment and forklift trucks
  • packing goods ready for shipment
  • cleaning and maintaining work areas and machinery

Working environment

You could work in a factory.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted to shift supervisor or move into quality control.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Digital Printer

  • Wage : £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Droitwich WR9 0NX

Manufacturing Apprentice

  • Wage : £12,708.00 Annually
  • Location: Leicester LE9 9JT

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a production worker (manufacturing)?

Search for training courses near you.

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