Engineering Production Workers

ANZSCO ID 7123

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
16,700
Future Growth
-13.9%
Weekly Earnings
$1,520
Full-Time Share
92%
Female Share
4%
Average age
44

Summary

Engineering Production Workers perform a range of production process tasks to refine and treat metals and mineral ore, fire ceramics, and operate plant to produce and finish metal products such as rods, tubing and structural shapes, and moulds for casting.

Specialisations: Alumina Refinery Operator, Arc Welder, Brake Press Operator, Computer Numeric Control Machine Operator, Foundry Operator, Furnace Operator (Metals), Kiln Operator (Metals), Metal Rolling Mill Operator, Sheetmetal Worker (Second Class), Tool Setter, Turret Punch Operator.

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as an Engineering Production Worker. Although some workers have a certificate II or III in engineering studies, competitive systems and practices, manufacturing technology or resource processing.

Tasks

  • interpreting engineering production drawings

  • setting up, operating and adjusting production plant to shape metal stock and castings and cut sheet metal

  • operating welding and electroplating plant

  • operating furnaces and quenching plant to smelt and change the structure of metals

  • using kilns and ovens to fire ceramics

  • processing mineral ore and operating metal rolling plant

  • casting molten metal and operating plant to draw metal wire through dies

  • operating computer-controlled production plant

Characteristics

Job Type
Machinery Operators And Drivers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Very Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to decline
  • is likely to reach 13,700 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
-13.9%
(or -2,200 jobs)
From
15,900
in 2021
To
13,700
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 25,400
2012 21,900
2013 22,500
2014 17,800
2015 18,200
2016 17,500
2017 15,400
2018 12,200
2019 21,400
2020 18,900
2021 15,900
2026 13,700

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 92% of people employed as Engineering Production Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 26 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    Median full-time earnings are $1,520 per week, this is lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,179
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,076

    Median hourly earnings are $36, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Engineering Production Workers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,520 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Manufacturing
77.3%
2
Construction
10.4%
3
Mining
7.4%
4
Wholesale Trade
1.8%
5
Other industries
3.1%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

26.2% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

22.6% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

21.5% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

9.2% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

16.5% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.7% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.4% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Engineering Production Workers All Jobs Average
NSW 26.2 31.6
VIC 22.6 25.6
QLD 21.5 20.0
SA 9.2 7.0
WA 16.5 10.8
TAS 2.8 2.0
NT 0.7 1.0
ACT 0.4 1.9


  • Around 50% of Engineering Production Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Western Australia has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
44
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
4%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Engineering Production Workers is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 4% of the workforce. This is 44 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Engineering Production Workers All Jobs Average
15-19 1.4 5.0
20-24 6.0 9.3
25-34 19.5 22.9
35-44 24.4 22.0
45-54 28.0 21.6
55-59 11.8 9.0
60-64 6.6 6.0
65 and Over 2.3 4.2
Median Age 44 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as an Engineering Production Worker. Although some workers have a certificate II or III in engineering studies, competitive systems and practices, manufacturing technology or resource processing.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Engineering Production Workers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.8 10.1
Bachelor degree 4.4 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 6.7 11.6
Certificate III/IV 37.1 21.1
Year 12 18.7 18.1
Year 11 7.5 4.8
Year 10 and below 24.9 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Engineering Production Systems Workers have good interpersonal skills, can communicate well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 54%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 52%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 46%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 46%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 39%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 39%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 39%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 37%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 37%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 37%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 37%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 37%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 36%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 36%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 34%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 32%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 32%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

  • 32%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 30%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 27%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 58%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 51%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 48%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 46%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 41%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 32%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 31%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 29%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 29%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 24%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 24%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 23%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 21%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 20%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 20%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 20%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 18%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 10%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 9%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 9%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 52%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 50%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 48%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 48%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 48%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 46%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 46%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 46%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 46%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 45%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 43%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 43%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 41%

    Glare sensitivity

    See things in glare or bright lighting.

  • 41%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 41%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 39%

    Rate control

    Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

  • 38%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 36%

    Hearing sensitivity

    Tell the difference between sounds.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 74%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 74%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 62%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 60%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 58%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 57%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 51%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 51%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 50%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 49%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 44%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 43%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 42%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 40%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 39%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 39%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 38%

    Working with electronic equipment

    Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing electronic devices and equipment.

  • 37%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 35%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 33%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 81%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 71%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 95%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 43%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 36%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 29%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 29%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 100%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 97%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 97%

    Bright or inadequate lighting

    Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.

  • 96%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 96%

    Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings

    Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.

  • 95%

    Dangerous conditions

    Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.

  • 91%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 87%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 84%

    Bending or twisting your body

    Spend time bending or twisting your body.

  • 83%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 83%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 82%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 80%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 80%

    Walking and running

    Spend time walking and running.

  • 79%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 77%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 77%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 76%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-4051.00 - Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders.


Links and downloads

Back to top