Pay for plastics workers varies depending on experience :
Apprentices usually earn between the minimum training wage and the minimum wage an hour.
Plastic workers with one to four years' experience can earn $16 to $18 an hour.
Plastics workers with four or more years' experience can earn up to $23 an hour.
Source : Competenz, 2017; Census, 2013.
This information is a guide only. )
What you will do
Plastics workers may do some or all of the following :
build full-size models of plastic products
create moulds for plastic products
apply materials such as resins or fiberglass to moulds
fit moulds into machines, and remove them when a production run has finished
separate, trim and shape the final products
maintain and repair moulds
fix basic mechanical and process problems
check products for defects
pack, label and weigh products.
Skills and knowledge
Plastics workers need to have knowledge of :
how to operate tools and machinery
processes used to make plastic products, and the ability to diagnose production problems
product standards and safety regulations
different chemicals, compounds and metals
heats and speeds needed for mechanical tasks such as welding.
Plastics workers :
either work shifts or regular business hours. They may be required to work longer hours or weekends to meet deadlines
work in factories, processing plants and workshops
may work in smelly, noisy and dusty conditions. They may also work with toxic materials, which require the use of safety equipment
may travel locally to clients' workplaces to install or repair products.
To become a plastics worker you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Manufacturing - Plastics (Level 2).
NCEA Level 1 is recommended. Useful subjects include chemistry, construction and mechanical technologies, and processing technologies.
Plastics workers need to be :
skilled in interpreting plans and drawings
good at problem-solving
accurate and methodical
able to follow instructions
able to work independently and in a team
responsible and safety-conscious.
Useful experience includes :
work with basic engineering equipment such as welders, lathes and power tools
any work in the plastics, rubber or composites industry
work as a mechanical engineer
work in other factory jobs, particularly shift work.
Plastics technicians need to be fit and healthy as the job involves some lifting, and they spend long periods on their feet.