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Becoming a Factory Worker in Manufacturing

Published: Friday 11th December 2020

Factory worker jobs in the UK involve working as part of a team or unit, collectively responsible for the production of goods or manufacturing. You could be involved in a wide variety of processes or specialise in one area such as welding, painting or electrical engineering. Find out more about what you need in order to pursue this career path in our factory worker career guide…

Factory worker uses tablet to operate a machine

What does a Factory Worker do?

If you work in the manufacturing industry then you will be involved in producing bulk quantities of goods. For some periods there may be an enormous amount of repetition, ensuring each item is identical and fit to pass inspection.

You could be responsible for building vehicle parts, toys, clothing, paint, technology or any number of things. Working in a factory will mean wearing safety equipment at all times unless in designated safe areas. Thankfully modern factories have made huge leaps forward in terms of safety regulations so accidents and work related illnesses are extremely rare. There will however, be long periods of your shift spent on your feet and sometimes high temperatures. You will need to carry out basic duties that may include:

  • Loading and unloading materials onto production lines.
  • Inspection and safety checks of finished products.
  • Operating heavy machinery or hand held equipment.
  • Keeping your work area clean.
  • Performing assembly operations.
  • Using factory vehicles such as forklifts to transport raw materials.

How to become a Factory Worker in the UK

Factory workers are usually required to have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. For more senior roles within manufacturing companies, you may be required to have a degree in a related field such as Advanced Manufacturing or Engineering. Qualifications that enable you to be certified in the use of heavy machinery and driving forklift trucks can also help with your application.

Two factory workers assess a situation

There are numerous entry-level positions that graduates or those making a career change could seek to exploit. You could work as a factory cleaner or in packaging. Then when you have received the required training you could move onto assembly related jobs, production worker, quality control and machine operation.

You will have to demonstrate good communication and team working skills in order to be successful. Strong attention to detail and a good work ethic are important skills that will take you a long way in what can be a very demanding career.

Salaries and career development

Entry-level workers in the manufacturing industry can expect a salary of around £17,000 per annum. There may however be significant opportunities for overtime. Manufacturers offer the best salaries to those who can operate machinery and in production support. Roles in this industry will see your salary grow with your level of experience. Mid-level roles can pay up to £25,000 per year with supervisor and management positions opening between £30,000-£40,000.

It’s possible to work your way up through a company and progress internally. If there isn’t a position available, once you’re skilled enough you could look for opportunities elsewhere to further your development. To go into a supervisor or management role, spend your years working in factories trying out lots of different roles. Get a taste for everything involved in the process and use this knowledge to help your staff in future.

If you are searching for jobs that involve working as a factory worker in your area, then visit Zoek and search from hundreds of manufacturing jobs across the UK!

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