What Does a Production Worker Do? Duties, Skills and Salary

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 September 2022 | Published 15 November 2021

Updated 20 September 2022

Published 15 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Production workers are professionals who assemble products and assist with manufacturing. They put items together, make minor changes, complete checks on equipment and package items. If you're interested in becoming a production professional, learning more about what they do and their requirements can be beneficial. In this article, we explain what production professionals do, describe their requirements, detail their work environment, review their average salary and provide tips for becoming one.

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What does a production worker do?

To answer the question 'what does a production worker do', a production worker helps create, assemble and test products or their parts. They may also test the parts or finished products they create to ensure they meet specifications, quality and safety standards. Production professionals usually work as part of an assembly line at a factory or manufacturing facility. Duties for production professionals vary according to their industry and workplace, but often include:

  • assembling parts or products by hand or using power tools to solder, drill, weld and attach

  • monitoring equipment and machinery and fixing any problems detected or referring them to a supervisor

  • keeping workstation and facility floor clean and free of hazards

  • observing assembly line and removing faulty parts or products detected

  • inspecting assembled products to ensure they meet quality and safety specifications

  • attaching labels, company logos and other details to finished products

  • packing finished products for shipping

  • unloading, organising and stocking shipments

Related:

  • What Is a Supply Chain Manager?

  • What Does a Picker Packer Do? (Skills Required and Salary)

Production professional job requirements

Depending on your employer, you may meet different requirements to work as a production professional. Production may need a combination of the following qualifications to secure employment:

Education

Primary and secondary educations are usually the only educational requirements for most production jobs. Production professionals interested in highly technical work like automobile or aeronautics engineering may require a diploma in a relevant subject. This qualification may help aspiring production professionals find jobs.

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Training

Production professionals typically receive on-the-job training when they take a new position. They might train in a group of new hires or receive one-on-one training from a more experienced production professional. On-the-job training familiarises new production employees with their duties, company processes and safety procedures, including safe machine operation.

Some technical industries require their production professionals to attend pre-employment training programmes. Aspiring production professionals can pass an aptitude test before being accepted into one of these community college and technical school programmes. Through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experiences, these programmes teach students about industry regulations and practices, such as how to produce sterile medical equipment in an aseptic environment.

Skills

Production professionals rely on their technical skills to ensure parts and finished products are created and packaged to a high standard. Depending on the items, the professionals may need unique skills. Improving your skills may help you increase your earnings or expand your employment opportunities. Factories and manufacturing plants may look for production professionals with the following attributes:

Technical skills

Production professionals use their technical skills to operate equipment and machinery skilfully and safely, producing and assembling parts to a high standard. Technical skills are especially important for production professionals assembling small, delicate parts. They can also use this skill to troubleshoot issues with machines and remedy minor issues.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is the ability to notice minor changes or minor issues in a product. This skill is important for production professionals because it allows them to monitor for quality and notice slight changes in production. Production professionals can improve their attention to detail by slowing down when completing tasks and focusing on being present.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving is the ability to assess a situation, identify the reasons for problems and suggest viable solutions. Problem-solving is important for production professionals because it allows them to fix errors and remedy issues. They develop the skill by working with machines, repairing mechanical issues and solving conflicts with others.

Teamwork

Production professionals are part of an assembly line, so working well with others is important. They can be personable with a good understanding of how their work impacts the work of their colleagues. Communication and collaboration are important parts of effective teamwork that they can develop.

Active listening

Production professionals receive instructions from their supervisors during their shifts. Their ability to comprehend directives helps them produce high-quality work and stay safe. Active listening also allows them to work better with their colleagues and improve production speeds.

Efficiency

Being efficient helps production professionals complete their tasks quickly and to a high standard. Time management and organisation enable these professionals to complete work quickly and accurately. This also allows them to avoid wasting materials and energy.

Physical fitness

Production professionals spend most of their time standing and walking. They may also need to lift heavy machinery or parts, so good physical fitness is important. They can improve their physical fitness by working with a doctor or trainer to learn about helpful exercises and fitness methods.

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FAQ about production careers

These are the answers to some common questions about production roles:

What is the production professional work environment like?

Production employees work full- or part-time hours at factories and manufacturing plants. Night, weekend and public holiday work may be necessary, in addition to shifts during the standard working week, depending on the employer. Overtime hours are also common, especially during peak manufacturing periods.

Working as a production professional is physically demanding, with professionals spending most of their time standing and moving about their workplace. Production specialists in some industries, such as the automotive sector, also lift heavy parts for assembly. Production professionals may wear protective clothes and accessories, including safety glasses, gloves and hairnets, to keep themselves safe and maintain the quality of their parts and products.

How do you become a production professional?

To become a production professional, many employers require that you finish primary and secondary school. Depending on your interests, you may pursue a diploma to specialise in certain equipment or production methods. Many production professionals gain experience on the job and learn the skills they need through training. To become a manager or earn a leadership position, you may pursue a more advanced degree.

How long does it take to become a production professional?

How long it takes to become a production professional depends on your education and interests. If you want to specialise in a certain area or use complex machinery, you may earn certifications or licensure to do so, which can make it take longer. For many professionals, it doesn't take long to become a production professional. Many employers offer training on the job and don't require that you have much experience prior to employment. Because of this, it can take up to one year to become a production professional.

Related: What Does a Manufacturing Engineer Do? (Plus Skills)

Average salary for production professionals

How much a production professional can earn depends on their skills, qualifications and performance. The average salary for a production worker is $1,755 per month, or $24,781 per year. Other factors, like location, employer and certifications can also affect how much a production professional can earn. To earn more, production professionals can gain experience and education and become production managers. The average base salary for a production manager is $4,899 per month, or $69,198 per year.

Tips for becoming a production expert

These are some helpful tips for becoming a production professional:

  • Develop your independence: Successful production professionals can work independently and function efficiently. This allows them to become better leaders and production experts.

  • Learn about systems analysis: Understanding how to analyse a system and suggest methods for improving it can enhance your abilities as a production professional. To learn more about them, you can pursue certifications or study materials online like videos and educational texts.

  • Improve your communication: Communication is important for production professionals as you often work with others to complete tasks. To improve your communication, you can focus on active listening and articulation.

  • Operate different machinery: Learning to use many types of machinery can be helpful for production experts because it allows them to expand their abilities. You can include the different machinery you understand how to operate on your resume to show potential employers your skills.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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