what is a production worker?

As a production worker, you operate machines and equipment in a factory to produce a specific product. You help manufacture everything from medication and food products to large engine parts. Production workers also work in warehouses, preparing items for distribution. You either have a regular working area or perform a variety of tasks that are assigned daily. The job involves repeating the same physical tasks, and you should match your work pace to the equipment speed.

As a production worker, you assist in assembling products and monitor equipment during production to check for product defects. You feed raw materials into the equipment and check the finished products to ensure they meet quality standards. Working closely with your colleagues helps ensure that product quality exceeds the required standards and deadlines. You also maintain the work area and follow safety standards to improve efficiency.

Production workers may work in any sector, including manufacturing industries for goods, drinks and food. The pharmaceutical industry also hires production workers to produce medicine and medical equipment. You may also work in the tech industry, manufacturing phones, laptops and other kinds of electronic devices.

Would working as a production worker suit your attention to detail and career goals? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in the role of a production worker.

production worker jobs

average production worker salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a production worker is $34,058 per year. Your average hourly rate is roughly $20.73. In an entry-level position, you earn a lower annual salary of $30,225, while the most experienced production workers make up to $43,162 yearly. Full-time production workers have higher hourly rates than part-timers. Working overtime also increases your earning potential since hourly rates for overtime are higher than standard working hours.

what factors increase the salary of a production worker?

As a production worker, your earnings depend on various factors, from qualifications to industry and experience. When you are new to the role, you have a lower salary due to your minimal experience. Your earnings gradually increase with experience, and you can negotiate a higher salary due to your expertise.

The industry you work in also influences your earnings. When you work for a clothing production or food processing company, your earnings differ from production workers in technical fields, such as machine production or assembly. Additionally, the complexity of the duties you perform affects your earning potential.

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types of production workers

Some types of production workers include:

  • handlers: as a handler, you package finished products for shipping. Your job includes boxing items and stacking the boxes on pallets to prepare them for transport. Using forklifts, you sometimes pack containers and trucks at the warehouse.
  • forklift operators: as a production worker, your job involves lifting heavy products or items with a forklift. You weigh packages and use the forklift to organize them for shipping. When loading or unloading trucks, it is essential to ensure that all the goods are properly labelled.
  • assembly line workers: you put electronic or metal parts together during the production process. As an assembly line worker, you also monitor the machines to ensure they work properly.
man smiling, in production setting
man smiling, in production setting

working as a production worker

Working as a production worker involves creating and monitoring the production process of finished goods. If you're interested in this role, explore the duties, work environment and career opportunities of a production worker.


production worker skills and education

Some of the requirements for becoming a production worker include:

  • secondary education: most employers hire production workers who have completed their secondary education. Choose your industry of specialization and find production worker certification courses to improve your skills in the role. Apply for entry-level positions since most employees provide on-the-job training.
  • experience: as a production worker, you gain experience through entry-level jobs and apprenticeship programs. When you have enough skills, you progress to higher roles in the company.

competencies and characteristics of production workers

Production workers with industry-specific skills can bargain for a higher salary. To excel in this career, build on the following attributes:

  • strong communication skills: good communication skills are vital for any production worker. Employers require individuals who engage with their co-workers to troubleshoot production issues and work toward a common goal. Communication skills help you pass information effectively to your team members, and they make you an active listener.
  • attention to detail: speed and precision are vital in manufacturing. Carelessness and mistakes affect production, leading to defects and lost time. While operating the machines, mistakes endanger your life or your co-workers. Attentiveness to detail helps you avoid accidents and maintain health standards.
  • critical thinking: employers look for production workers who are capable of making sound decisions if unforeseen issues arise. Since supervisors are not always present to resolve issues, you should be able to find the best solutions, even for complex problems.
  • aptitude for technology: technology is constantly changing the operations in the manufacturing industry. Employers require production workers who are interested in technology to handle advanced processes.
  • good concentration: production workers perform their duties in fast-paced environments, so it is vital to stay focused. Tasks can be highly repetitive, and having a good level of concentration helps you maintain consistent product quality.
  • physical stamina: production plants hire people with good physical skills since they work for long periods. The role involves lifting items and sometimes standing throughout the shift, requiring a high amount of stamina.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a production worker.


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