plastics

Plastics

Plastic. It’s hard to imagine life without this ingenious little polymer.

Careers information

What does it involve?

The plastics industry makes the plastic items we all use every day. These include plastic bags, plastic piping, plastic bottles, house guttering and plastic bins. They also produce custom-moulded plastic components for commercial use.

What kind of jobs could I do?

Jobs include:

  • Plastics Moulders
  • Production Operators
  • Technicians
  • Die Setters
  • Machine Setters
  • Tool Makers
  • Product Designers
  • Technologists
  • Plastics Engineers
  • Technical Managers
  • Production Managers

Plus there are opportunities to work in the types of roles that are common to all manufacturing processes (e.g. quality control).

How could I get into the industry?

You can join from school, with NCEA passes, or move into the industry from another manufacturing industry.

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

Newly Qualified

$30k - $65k

How we support your industry

We partner with industry associations like Plastics New Zealand and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.

We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.

Discounted offer: international online plastics learning materials

To help plastics manufacturers build their team’s skills, Competenz has been working with Plastics New Zealand and members of the plastics industry to make available some online learning materials developed by American plastics training provider Routsis Training.

United States-based Routsis Training is a leading supplier of training services for the plastics processing industry. More than 3,000 companies and educational institutions worldwide use their online learning.

The Routsis materials reinforce the skills and knowledge learners gain as they work towards their New Zealand qualifications. Learners may find them a useful way to supplement their New Zealand-based training.

The materials do not replace the materials Competenz provides and modules do not cover Competenz unit standards directly. Learners who complete these modules cannot gain credit against New Zealand unit standards.

More information

National qualifications

This qualification is designed for people moving into or already employed in the plastics industry as Production Operators, Packers and assembly workers. Graduates of these qualifications will be able to operate production processes in specific sectors of the plastics industry.

Find out more:

This qualification is designed for people already employed in the plastics industry as Process Engineers, Technicians, Die Setters and Machine Setters. Graduates of these qualifications will be able to carry out a range of activities related to processing, equipment and tooling in specific sectors of the plastics industry.

Find out more:

You can achieve the New Zealand Apprenticeship in Plastics Processing Technology through a three-year programme. 

This qualification is designed for people already employed in senior manufacturing roles in the plastics industry, including Process Engineers, Product Designers, Technologists and Technical Managers.  Graduates of this qualification will be able to undertake a range of advanced activities related to product design, product processing, and fabrication and finishing without supervision.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.

This qualification is designed for people already employed in senior manufacturing roles in the plastics industry (e.g. Technical Managers). Graduates of this qualification will be able to analyse and resolve complex issues involving producing and developing plastics materials. They will also gain a range of transferable skills such as report writing, planning, financial management, and training others.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.