It’s mesmerizing to watch videos of products being made. Sped-up videos of shoes being put together can almost bring a sense of calm. Have you ever wondered, who the hands holding that shoe belong to and what their day looks like? Read on to find out more about the people behind these magical videos — Production Workers.
What does a production worker do?
You may be asking yourself, “What is a production job?” Although the name sounds a bit strange, it’s just another way to say factory production or making things in mass. Now before you go hitting the back button, one thing to keep in mind is that factory jobs often get a bad wrap. Times have changed, and there are many production jobs out there that can be a lucrative career opportunity. As well, jobs like these are becoming more technologically advanced and safer too.
Production workers, specifically, are responsible for making the actual products. That could mean that they work at individual stations to put parts together. Others may work along a conveyor belt line where each worker performs their own specific task. Still, other factories have production associates working side by side with robots. This ensures that products are built with precision and consistency while still having the human element there to detect any issues.
Production workers are the ones who create everything from keyboards to cell phones to whole airplanes! They do so with care, passion and concern because, in the interconnected world we live in today, they understand that the products they make every day could impact someone they love.
What is the job title of a factory worker?
For this article, we will be referring to factory workers by one of their many titles, a production worker. There are, however, many other titles that this same position can fall under. These titles include:
- Production Associate
- Assembly Assistant
- Production Worker
- Floor Assembler
- Production Operator
- Line Production
- Line Worker
- Production Worker
As you can see, there are several different names the job can go by, so be sure to keep an eye out for these alternative names when job hunting. More often than not, you can tell the job you are looking at is a production position based on the job description. Despite the numerous names this job can go by, the description of the job will be very similar to the following:
“Our company is currently seeking a reliable and safety-minded individual to assist in our production line. The successful candidate will be responsible for crafting high-quality products, operating and maintaining production equipment, and ensuring the quality of finished products. Duties will include feeding raw materials into the production machines, keeping work areas clean, and following all company safety procedures.”
How much does a Production Worker make?
The current national average for production positions floats right around $13.00 per hour or about $27,000 a year. Again, this is the average and can fluctuate based on your location, experience and company. Some states, such as Alaska or D.C., make about $27.00/hour on average. This works out to about $56,000 each year!
On the other hand, you may live in a state with lower average pay but more availability of production worker jobs. For example, Illinois and California have a plethora of production jobs that need to be filled. With a market like that, you can shop around for the company that will give you the best pay, benefits or schedule that you desire.
Finally, pay isn’t just about how much money will show up on your paycheck. Your total compensation should also take benefits into account. While you may be making great money somewhere, if their medical benefits are sub-par, you may be spending your paycheck towards the healthcare you need. On the other hand, another company with slightly lower wages may have fantastic benefits, ultimately helping you keep more of your paycheck for things you want to spend it on. These are all items you will want to consider when looking at jobs and potential salaries at each.
What are Production Worker education requirements?
Another awesome thing about production positions is that you can get one without having any special education or certifications. This is great for recent graduates, those with no prior work experience, or just anyone looking to jump into the field.
Now, education never hurts, so if you choose to pursue further learning opportunities, that can only help you with your job journey. For example, you can become certified in CPR and first aid. This is a plus for assembly jobs since accidents can happen. Your knowledge could end up saving your life or someone else’s.
Some certifications can help you be better at your job. If you are producing food items, it may be smart to take a food safety course. If you work with a big team, maybe a communications course to help you work better with the group.
Finally, you can choose educational opportunities that can help you move up the ladder at the company. There is, of course, the management track that you can pursue through business and leadership courses. You can also move into equipment and forklift operation by becoming licensed to operate such vehicles.
Any of these options are great choices if you wish to develop yourself further. You can pay for these out of your own pocket, but before you do that, be sure to check to see if your company offers any sort of scholarships or education reimbursements. If they are willing to invest in your education, certainly let them!
Can I get a Production Worker job with no experience?
As we discussed above, most production jobs are entry-level, which means they do not require you to have any prior experience to be hired. If you do, bonus! If you have never worked in a factory setting, however, there are some things you can highlight on your resume to help you stand out as the candidate of choice.
Show them your skills: Even though you haven’t worked in a production job doesn’t mean you don’t possess the necessary skills. List the skills you do have that are relevant to the job, such as a reliable, hard-working, quick learner, or excellent communication skills.
Pivot your old jobs: This may surprise you, but your experience as a waiter, cashier or babysitter can still help you shine for a production job. Craft your descriptions of these jobs to highlight how they made you utilize skills that you would need to use for a production job. For example, Waiters and cashiers must be able to think fast in a high-paced environment. Babysitters often have to use critical thinking skills to solve problems and stay calm even when things get chaotic. Here you would be highlighting your quick-thinking skills to solve complex problems while maintaining your work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment.
List experience from life: If you have no job experience at all or if you have a life experience that is similar to the production job you are applying for, list it. It is still experience after all. This can include volunteer work, parenthood or hobbies.
Are factory jobs good?
Factory jobs are becoming better, but there is always an exception to the rule. There are companies out there that are not concerned with employee safety or work-life balance. Luckily, we live in the age of the internet, where you can simply search for a company and find numerous employee reviews. These reviews can be brutally honest, so you will know what you could be getting into if you apply.
Fortunately, not all factory jobs are scary or skeevy. In fact, most offer great job opportunities, and some pay well above the national average. Due to the honesty of the internet and government regulations, many factories realize that they need to take care of their workers. This means fair pay, benefits, and safe working conditions.
So while factory jobs may get a bad reputation, many are safe and lucrative, with lots of growth opportunities. The biggest takeaway here is to do your research on the company you are applying with and making sure you’re not potentially being scammed.
What are Production Worker skills for a resume?
Just because production jobs are often entry-level doesn’t mean these employees aren’t skilled. Production workers are incredibly skilled, given the fact that they must perform their job the same way each and every time. This sounds simple to say, but it is so much harder in practice.
Can you imagine putting the same item together over 500 times? At some point, you would get tunnel vision and just use muscle memory to build that product. Imagine, however, that you had to build 500 infant car seats or hospital heart monitors—no room for tunnel vision there. Precision and consistency are vital skills that all production workers, no matter the industry, must have.
There are many other skills that producers need to successfully perform their job. These skills can vary depending on the industry or products being made, but overall they occur in many production positions.
- Critical thinking
- Strong team communication
- Safety focused
- Familiarity with a variety of tools
- Can work fast-paced
- Cool under pressure
- Physically fit (due to frequent lifting, standing, etc.)
- Quick Learner
If the above list describes you, then it is highly likely that you would excel in a production position. At this point, you may be wondering, “where do I sign up?” We have that coming up for you too!
How do I find a Production Worker job?
The skills of a production associate are always in demand! Having someone who knows can work fast-paced, consistently, and meet production quotas is what every production company needs. Finding a job like this is simple, and you have a few options for going about it.
Internet Job Hunt
Google is a miracle machine when it comes to looking for a job! You can type something simple like “Production Worker Jobs Near Me” or something more specific like “Production Worker Jobs 2nd Shift 401k,” and in both cases, you will get back tons of results. Use Google and the many job board websites to help you corral all the best jobs together. You can also use this option to research potential companies further by looking at their employee reviews or checking out their benefits.
If you don’t have much experience under your belt, or you have particular needs in a job, such as health insurance, then you may want to check out your local staffing agency. This agency can help you find a job generally, but they can also help be your eyes and ears for the specifics you are looking for. Be sure to meet with your local recruiter so you can sit down and talk about your goals, expectations and job experience that way they have a full picture of what you have to offer.
You can just go straight to the source. If there is a company in town that is hiring for production worker positions and you love their benefits and company culture, then just visit them directly. Some may ask that you fill out an application online, while others may be impressed if you introduce yourself in person.
No matter which option you choose when searching for your production worker job, be sure to have your resume at the ready. Your resume should add any certifications or experience you have in the machining industry. You can also include your skills when it comes to safety, teamwork, reliability and consistency. These other skills will help employers know you are the full package they are looking for.