Manufacturing

The Manufacturing Industry is a very large and diverse industry that includes a variety of sectors, companies and professionals. Manufacturing is the production of goods or products from raw materials, using machines, tools and bio-chemical modification. Most manufacturing occurs at large-scale industrial production where goods and products such as food and beverage products, electronic equipment, construction and paper products, pharmaceutical materials and parts for vehicles and machinery are produced.

Careers in the manufacturing industry include a variety of roles and areas of work such as engineers, logistics workers, operation controllers, assemblers, machinists, delivery drivers, crafts workers and many more. Some manufacturing areas have decreased as manufacturing plants are outsourced, however there are still large companies and complex manufactured products that require significant numbers of professionals. Manufacturing includes all the intermediary processes and components required to produce goods and products.

Engineers in the manufacturing industry include chemical and materials engineers who research, design and develop specifications of materials to create products and investigate chemical interactions. They may modify materials such as ceramics, chemicals, composites, metals, plastics and rubber to improve the performance of their intended use and increase cost-effectiveness. Engineers and scientists can also work in manufacturing careers researching the properties of food and beverages and developing new food products for manufacturing. Logistics managers handle the logistical aspects of product supply and distribution for companies and organisations while machinists install metal or wood parts, and set up and operate machining tools to form stock and mouldings.

There are many careers in manufacturing that do not require higher levels of education, however those wishing to work on the engineering or industrial design areas of manufacture will need a Bachelors degree. The manufacturing industry also requires individuals with business backgrounds in accounting and management to provide administrative and management services. Other fields may require vocational training programs or experience learning skilled work relevant to the sector. Some of the careers associated with manufacturing require long working hours performing repetitive tasks and fabricating the same products or components. Professionals in manufacturing may work in factory or industrial production settings, laboratories, workshops and offices.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Careers in Manufacturing

Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics

Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics are involved in all aspects of installing, fitting, diagnosing and repairing domestic (households) and commercial (businesses) airconditioning and refrigeration systems and equipment.

Bicycle mechanic

Bicycle Mechanics assemble bicycles, service new and used bicycles, repair faults and provide technical product advice to customers.

Blacksmiths

Blacksmiths shape, forge, join and weld metals such as steel, iron and brass to create or mend metal objects.

Butchers and Smallgoods Makers

Butchers and Small Goods Makers use a range of processing machines to hand-pick, prepare and sell meat and meat related products and small goods.

Car Detailers

Car Detailers specialise in the repair and maintenance of interior and exterior car details. They clean, paint, polish and update vehicles for owners or sales companies.

Clay Concrete Glass and Stone Machine Operators

Clay, Concrete, Glass and Stone Machine Operators create a wide variety of products that consumers, businesses and government agencies use on a daily basis. From building bridges to creating roadway dividers and industrial sinks, clay, concrete, glass and stone machine operators are always necessary for the development of our society.

Clothing Trades Workers

Clothing Trades Workers create and alter garments, usually in industrial settings, but occasionally in high end factories for fashion designers. They work with a variety of fabrics and other materials, cut them according to the pattern and sew the pieces together to create wonderful garments for retail shops, department stores and fashion boutiques.

Coremakers

Coremakers create a variety of metal products that are necessary for day to day life. They oftentimes create large moulds, sand moulds or even cores in order to make the needed product. Occasionally, coremakers must undertake the project of heating raw metals and hammering them into the proper shape. They must apply coatings to the metal and polish them prior to customers inspection. Coremakers also repair metalwork.

Detailers Car

Car Detailers specialise in the repair and maintenance of interior and exterior car details. They clean, paint, polish and update vehicles for owners or sales companies.

Die Setters

Die Setters set, operate and repair tools, dies and distinct holding and operating devices that enable machines to shape, form or taper metal and plastic parts. They should have strong technical abilities working with metal and plastic materials and adhere to high levels of safety precautions.

Electronics Trades Workers

Electronics Trades Workers work with electronics in a hands-on fashion. They maintain and repair electronics like television sets, audio-visual equipment, and other domestic and commercial electronics products. They also frequently work with radio systems.

Electroplaters

Electroplaters, part of the larger metal casting, forging, and finishing industry, develop mould patterns and form sand moulds and cores to assist in the larger project of producing metal castings. They also forge metal by heating and hammering it into shape, and at times will also repair, coat, and polished already-forged metal parts and artefacts.

Factory Workers Food and Drink

Factory Workers in the food and drink industry produce and prepare food and beverages for distribution and sale. They must perform repetitive work while adhering to quality and safety standards, and they may also have to monitor and maintain machinery and equipment; these tasks require increased concentration. Depending on the factory, employees may work with products such as alcoholic beverages, fruits and vegetables, grains, sugar, dairy products, meats, baked goods, and confections. Knowledge of health and safety regulations is imperative.

Factory Workers Plastics and Rubber

Factory workers in the plastics and rubber industry manufacture items using machinery. They work with raw materials and equipment to produce rubber and plastic items; the work is repetitive and requires good concentration skills to ensure product quality and worker safety.

Fitters and Turners

Fitters and Turners in the machining industry manufacture metal components, and they then assemble those components into products such as tools, machinery, and machine components. They work with drawings and specifications to ensure that parts will fit together; they work with machinists under a manufacturing supervisor.

Fitters Assistants

Fitters in the machining industry manufacture metal components, and assistants in this field perform tasks in the manufacturing process of those components. This may include cutting and shaping using specialised tools, moving and organising tools and materials, and cleaning work areas. They work under a fitter and turner, and may work with other assistants under a manufacturing supervisor.

Furniture finishers

Furniture Finishers work with wood and metal and finish and refinish surfaces using tools, adhesives, stains, and other treatments. They may refinish old or damaged furniture, or work with new, unfinished pieces. They must have a strong knowledge of material types, their uses and be able to determine the best methods to complete order specifications. They should have strong hand-eye coordination and general woodworking skills.

Glass Makers

Glass Makers use machinery and hand tools to fabricate, finish, and polish glass. The work may also involve mixing and processing other substances to assist in the glass-making process.

Glaziers

Glaziers work with commercially produced glass. They cut, fit, and install glass plates and mirrors, and at times may measure and finish glass as well.

Industrial Spraypainters

Industrial Spraypainters paint and apply industrial layers to manufactured products. They use spray paint materials and other coating equipment and should have fine attention to detail and work with a large quantity of items.

Joiners

Joiners make and repair wooden components of buildings and furnishings. They cut, form and fit wooden parts to create structures and furnishings. They may fit joints without the use of nails and screws using a variety of machinery and tools.

Leather Workers

Leather Workers work with leather materials to make and repair products made from leather such as boots, bags, shoes and garments. They may use a variety of tools to shape and mould leather and assemble products.

Machinists Sewing

Sewing Machinists sew and finish large quantities of garments and furnishing fabric using industrial sewing machines. They should have strong hand-eye coordination and attention to detail to ensure garments and fabrics meet product specifications.

Machinists Wood

Wood Machinists shape wood pieces, finish and polish fittings and make frames using woodworking and turning machines. They should have strong hand-eye coordination and be able to operate hazardous machinery while adhering to health and safety standards.

Manufacturers

Manufacturers facilitate the operations of smaller scale manufacturing plants and establishments by planning, directing and implementing activities. They should have strong attention to detail and be able to oversee operations while adhering to health and safety standards.

Meat Poultry and Seafood Process Workers

Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers slaughter, gut and process poultry meat, fish and shellfish. They grade and package processed items for distribution and to meet order specifications. They are required to perform physical labour related to the butchering and processing of meat, poultry and seafood.

Motor Vehicle and Vehicle Parts Salespersons

Motor Vehicle and Vehicle Parts Salespersons are responsible for selling cars and other vehicles, as well as parts for those vehicles. They may sell cars, trucks, boats, campers, large construction equipment, or vehicle parts or accessories.

Other Factory Process Workers

Other Factory Process Workers refers to members of this unit group that are not elsewhere classified. These workers can include those who work with chemicals, clay, fabric, textile and glass. Other Factory Process Workers perform routine duties of lesser skill than those of the manager.

Packers

A Packer simply packs various materials and products by hand in many different industries and settings. A packer, or packager as they are often called, is usually a part of a manufacturing operation or material moving company.

Panelbeaters

Panelbeaters restore automobile bodies back to their original condition after having been in a crash or being otherwise damaged. These individuals work on everyday vehicles such as cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans, but specialized panel beaters may specialise in repairing aircraft, motorcycles, and more. Other panel beaters may specialise in body customisation.

Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators

There are many different types of Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators, from sawmill machine operators to lumber graders. Paper and wood processing machine operators may glue, cut, create wood chips, trim, splice, sand, and repair various types of wood and may also prepare timber, logs, etc.

Plastics and Rubber Factory Workers

Plastics and Rubber Factory Workers work routine jobs in factories that manufacture plastic and rubber products. They often work long standing hours and do repetitive work. These workers may manufacture tyres and other rubber products.

Pre-Press Trades Workers

Pre-press Trades Workers work with both traditional press techniques and new digital press technologies. These individuals manipulate, set, and compose graphics and texts into a formal suitable for traditional print publications and other visual media forms. Knowledge of both standard and new digital forms of print is necessary.

Product Assemblers

Product Assemblers, or those who work in the field of production assembly, assemble products on a particular part of product line (as assigned) until the product is complete. They work with a large group of individuals on the line, but their work can be extremely repetitive, and many must stand or sit for long hours.

Pulp and Paper Mill Operators

Pulp and Paper Mill Operators facilitate the operation of a variety of tasks in the production of paper and pulp. They should have strong attention to detail and be able to oversee operations while adhering to health and safety standards for workers.

Refrigeration Mechanics

Refrigeration Mechanics perform routine installation, maintenance, and repair work on refrigeration systems. They may also perform initially assembly of systems domestic, commercial, and industrial.

Rubber Production Machine Operators

Rubber Production Machine Operators use machines to manufacture various rubber products. They also operate machinery to finish and polish rubber products.

Sewing Machinists

Sewing Machinists sew garments using industrial sewing machines. They also sew other garments like curtains. The job includes stitching fabric as well as various techniques like lockstitching, overlocking, and bar tacking. These workers must constantly check for mistakes and fix them when necessary.

Shoemakers

Shoemakers design and make boots and shoes. They also are in charge of repairing boots, shoes and other leather goods. Additionally, shoemakers will typically cut and engrave keys. These individuals will often be self-employed and work in small stores.

Spraypainters Vehicle

Vehicle Spraypainters prep and paint surfaces of transportation vehicles, such as cars, trucks, airplanes, buses and boats. They need to be able to use a variety of tools such as blowtorches, sandblasters and spray guns. Vehicle Spraypainters also may apply decorative lettering or designs.

Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators

Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators are an initial step in creating the clothing that is worn daily. Working with material, fabrics, dyes, and hides, these operators make clothing lines possible.

Upholsterers

Upholsterers work with furniture and other upholstered materials such as sofas, chairs, beds, mattresses, etc. They design, make, and repair these materials.

Vehicle Assemblers

Vehicle Assemblers put together separate parts and components of vehicles to go through assembly lines and may assist in the installation of electronic mechanisms in automobiles. They should be familiar with working components and details in automobiles and operate at high standards.

Vehicle Body Builders and Trimmers

Vehicle Body Builders and Trimmers assemble, construct and repair parts for vehicle bodies, production units and interior trims. They should have strong attention to detail abilities and be familiar with working components and details in automobiles and operate at high standards.

Vehicle Painters

Vehicle Painters are responsible for all the stages of the vehicle painting process. They are required to strip vehicles of existing paint and prepare the vehicles for the next coat. They must then mix colours and apply paint and any required top coats.

Watchmakers

Watchmakers work with metal parts to design and build watches, clocks, and other timepieces. Part of a larger industry group called precision metal trades workers, watchmakers also work in timepiece maintenance and repair.

Professional associations and industry bodies

Association of Consulting Engineers Australia 

Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers

Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association Ltd 

Australian Industry Group 

Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute 

Commercial Furniture Industry Association of Australia 

ForestWorks 

Housing Industry Association Ltd 

Manufacturing Skills Australia 

Packaging Council of Australia 

Welding Technology Institute of Australia

Skills and personality

  • Adherence to safety standards and procedures during the manufacturing process
  • Analytical abilities assessing manufacturing process and making improvements and ensuring cost-effectiveness and quality assurance
  • Effectively use a variety of machines, tools and equipment and operate controls
  • Enjoy fabricating and designing products and services
  • Evaluation capabilities to assess performance of employees and production process
  • High attention to detail including accuracy and precision of work
  • Perform repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently to contribute to fast production times
  • Strong coordination and organisational abilities and work with multiple stakeholders
  • Strong problem solving and engineering skills to test new products and figure out cause of defects
  • Work in a team with others on manufacturing products