General manufacturing

New Zealand needs productive, efficient and innovative workers to manufacture products for the world market

Careers information

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What does it involve?

General manufacturing operators work in processing, production, assembly or distribution (usually in large businesses or factories). They can become highly skilled in their specific areas and there is room for advancement into team leader, supervisory and management roles.

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Typical day

Typically, an 8-hour day or shift work. General manufacturing workers work on different parts of the processing, production, assembly or distribution lines, learning specific skills for each role. You may also undertake training on specialist equipment and may learn to make minor repairs and maintain the equipment you use.

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How could I get into the industry

Does this sound like you?

Study areas Attributes Helpful experience Preferred work environments
  • English or Media Studies or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Good at precision work
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Good initiative/ ‘can do’ attitude
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • Outside (in vehicle)
  • Different places from time to time

How much could I earn?

  • Newly Qualified

    $30k- $45k

Career pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior jobs
  • NCEA Level 2 is ideal


  • Process Worker
  • Production Worker
  • Assembly Worker
  • Distribution Worker
  • Team Leader
  • Supervisor
  • Plant Supervisor
  • Production Manager
  • Teacher/Tutor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
Unit/Achievement standards in schools Traineeship Higher learning Higher learning

For more information