Production Operative Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Production Operative, or Production Worker works on the assembly or production line of a manufacturing company. Their duties include feeding batches of raw materials into machinery, assembling goods on an assembly line and attaching labels and company logos to finished products.

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Production Operative duties and responsibilities

The exact duties of a Production Operative depend on their position and work environment. Some Production Operatives, for instance, operate a conveyor belt in a drink-bottling factory, and others work on the production line for automotive parts. Generally, their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Operating and cleaning assembly and production machinery and also hand-held tools
  • Informing Supervisors of faulty machinery or production issues
  • Monitoring a production or assembly line and conducting basic testing and quality checks
  • Storing goods and raw materials in a factory or warehouse, which may involve operating lifting equipment and forklift trucks 
  • Adhering to relevant health and safety regulations when operating machinery and handling products
  • Keeping work areas and the factory floor clean and free from hazardous material
  • Adhering to operational procedures and production timelines
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What does a Production Operative do?

Production Operatives assist in the production, assembly and packing of a variety of goods. These goods could include electronic equipment, clothes, tinned foods or medicine. Production Operatives typically form part of a team and have specific duties within an assigned section. Some, for instance, may load raw goods onto a production line, whereas others may be involved with the storing, packing or shipment of finished products. However, Production Operatives also often move to different stations on a line or to other sections, which allows them to acquire new skills and gain a better understanding of the production process.

Production Operative skills and qualifications

Production Operatives need physical fitness, strength and dexterity to succeed in their job. Depending on their position, they may need to lift heavy objects, assemble delicate parts, access elevated heights or engage in repetitive movements throughout a shift. A successful Production Operative will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Good concentration and attention to detail to quickly notice errors on a production or assembly line
  • Strong teamwork skills, as the job involves working with others in a team
  • A technical mind and the ability to work with their hands 
  • Working knowledge of relevant machinery and equipment, including interpretation of production reports and identification of problems
  • Solid troubleshooting skills to successfully determine the causes of production issues
  • Knowledge of the relevant safety and quality standards and procedures
  • The ability to interpret technical specifications and information
  • The ability to work with minimal supervision and manage their own workload

Production Operative experience requirements

The level of experience a Production Operative needs depends on the position. Whereas employers may be willing to hire candidates with no experience and provide them with on-the-job training for certain positions, other positions require experience. In general, employers may ask for previous experience in a production or warehouse environment. Depending on the position, candidates may also need to show assembly or soldering experience, or experience in using production machinery. Some positions require a forklift licence.

Production Operative education and training requirements

There are no fixed education or training requirements for this occupation. However, candidates typically need a few GCSEs, including English and maths, to show they have the required numeracy and literacy levels for the job. Candidates can develop their skills and knowledge by completing professional qualifications. City & Guilds, for instance, offers relevant qualifications like a Level 1 Diploma in Performing Manufacturing Operations. Candidates can also gain valuable experience and skills through a relevant apprenticeship.

Production Operative salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Production Operative in the UK is £9.34 per hour. Salaries vary, however, depending on factors like location and employer.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this job description doesn’t adequately describe the job opening you have, here are a few job description samples of similar positions to consider:

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Production Operative job description FAQs

What are the hours of a Production Operative?

The hours of a Production Operative depend on the hours of the company they work for. In general, manufacturing plants have long operational hours, with some remaining open for 24 hours a day. For this reason, Production Operatives typically work long shifts, which can include working evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

Who does a Production Operative report to?

A Production Operative typically reports to a Shift Supervisor or Production Manager.

Which type of companies and industries employ Production Operatives?

Most companies and industries that manufacture or assemble goods need Production Operatives. These include pharmaceutical, construction, engineering and food and beverage companies.

What makes a good Production Operative job description?

When you’re drafting your job description, aim to strike a balance between keeping the document concise and adding the necessary detail. You want to ensure that you attract the most suitable applicants by providing detail about the required experience and training for the job, such as a forklift licence or soldering experience.

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