General Manufacturing Operator

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

Careers information

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What do they do?

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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 A typical day

Typically an eight-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 learn to make minor repairs and maintain the equipment you use.

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     Sound like you?

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • English or Media or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics 
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Strong eye for detail
  • 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 (outdoors)
  • Different places from time to time

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs
  • NCEA Level 2 is recommended


  • 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 schoolsTraineeshipHigher learningHigher learning