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

Careers information

Plastics Operator

Plastics operators produce the containers, pipes, bottles and other moulded plastic products that we use every day. They also produce components for commercial use such as in the medical, dairy, aeronautical and animal health industries.

Typically, an eight-hour day which can involve shift work.

Plastics operators prepare raw materials and machinery for production, run and monitor the machines, identify, resolve and report on routine processing problems.

Plastics Engineer

Plastics Engineers manage, optimise, and maintain the processing of plastics products. They work with a variety of plastics processing machines and there are senior and specialist roles that you can progress to and qualify in.

Typically, an eight-hour day which may include shift work.

Plastics engineers operate one or more plastics processing machines, run trials, make recommendations to improve production processes, troubleshoot and resolve processing problems, and quality assure.

Injection Moulding 01Cropped

     Sound like you?

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • Sciences
  • Workshop Technology
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Good initiative/'can do' attitude
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Analysing, researching or problem solving
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Inside (workshop or plant)

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs
  • NCEA level 2 in Maths and English is recommended
  • Practical subjects such as Tehnology or Workshop Skills is recommended
      • Plastics Operator
      • Plastics Technician
      • Plastics Engineer
      • Plastics Die Setter
  • Team Leader
  • Manager
  • Factory Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Production Manager
  • Business Owner
 Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsApprenticeshipHigher learningHigher learning
Gateway programme available