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.

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Sound like you?

  • 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)


These can be useful from school:

  • NCEA level 2 Maths and English is recommended
  • Practical subjects such as Technology or Workshop Skills is recommended.

Traineeship or apprenticeship

  • Plastics Operator
  • Plastics Technician
  • Plastics Engineer
  • Plastics Die Setter.

Higher learning

  • Team Leader
  • Manager
  • Factory Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Production Manager.

Higher learning

  • Business owner