Jobs in manufacturing

Everything you need to know about getting a job in the manufacturing industry.

On this page:

Your interests

This industry may be for you if you like:

  • designing and building products
  • being creative and bringing ideas to life
  • research and problems solving
  • working with machinery and equipment
  • working in a team environment.

Things to consider

There are many different sectors that make up the manufacturing industry. Most of the skills you gain in one job can be transferred to other sectors within the industry. You develop skills on the job. You need common sense, a good attitude and like to be creative and work with your hands. You could work full-time, or on a casual basis.

Almost 86% of people work full-time in the manufacturing industry. Jobs and Skills Australia reported employee median pay is $1,300 per week before tax. This weekly pay is only a guide. Your salary may vary depending on your qualifications, experience, and skills. 1

Entry level roles

You can work your way up in the manufacturing industry from an entry level position.

Your attitude and how you present yourself can be more important than formal qualifications or prior work experience. A qualification can be helpful but is not needed. Many businesses advertise entry level roles and will provide on the job training.

Example of entry level roles in this industry include 2

  • production managers
  • packers
  • food and drink factory workers
  • store persons
  • product assemblers
  • general sales assistants.

Example of apprentice opportunities in this industry include:

  • structural steel and welding trades workers
  • metal fitters and machinists
  • cabinetmakers
  • bakers and pastrycooks.

Visit the Jobs and Skills Australia website for information about entry level roles, occupation profiles and trade-based roles.

Entry requirements

Businesses in this industry will train staff in the skills for the role. Employers may consider skills you have gotten from other jobs.

Some roles may be physically demanding, and job ads will make this clear.

Some roles will need licenses and accreditations. These may be:

  • first aid certificate
  • white card and asbestos awareness card
  • forklift license
  • working at heights certification
  • manual handling training.

Find a job in the manufacturing industry

Finding jobs can be one of the most challenging parts of starting a career in the industry. You can search and apply for jobs on Workforce Australia.

Visit the find employers hiring now on the Jobs Hub website to find jobs in the manufacturing industry.

How to apply for a job in manufacturing

Explore the services, resources, and tools available on Workforce Australia website to support you in your job search journey. Find tips to develop your application and prepare for an interview.

Check out Job Jumpstart. It offers resources and activities to help you work out what jobs might suit you.

Career opportunities

This industry is ideal if you want to work your way up from an entry level role.

Entry level roles may progress into team leader, supervisory or manager roles. Many people work their way up the career ladder by gaining relevant experience over time.

If you want a change, or to advance your career, there are transferrable skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving if you have worked in:

  • agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • accommodation and food services
  • retail trade.

Soft skills that the manufacturing industry might need are:

  • teamwork and collaboration
  • problem solving
  • time management
  • written and verbal communication
  • leadership qualities
  • adaptability.

Some technical skills required could be:

  • knowledge of computer design and software
  • machinery, power, and hand tools
  • product design
  • quality controls
  • programming machines and
  • experience with artificial intelligence.

Visit the Workforce Australia Job Switch tool to help you find new and different jobs you might already have the skills for.

Qualifications can help to fill skill gaps or to take you to the next step in your career. Visit the Your Career website for information on careers and resources.

Apprenticeships and training options

Qualifications can help your career. When you need qualifications, you can apply for an Australian Apprenticeship and work towards a Certificate 3 or a Certificate 4 in a related field.

Visit the Australian Apprenticeships website to:

Find information about apprenticeships and traineeships for job seekers at the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Find vacancies on other job boards such as:

Visit the Your Career website to search for education and training courses to help start your career in the manufacturing industry. This website has information on fee-free TAFE courses in all states and territories.

University courses

Some workers in this industry get university qualifications. Search for university courses on the Course Seeker website.

Universities offer degrees in:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • engineering
  • technology
  • digital technologies.

Self-Employment Assistance

Self-Employment Assistance can help you turn your business idea into a viable business, or even help with your existing business, through flexible services like:

  • Exploring Self-Employment Workshops
  • Business Plan Development
  • Small Business Training
  • Business Advice Sessions
  • Business Health Checks
  • Small Business Coaching

You may also be eligible for financial support while you start and run your business as part of Small Business Coaching.

Self-Employment Assistance can give you the skills to establish and operate your own business in the manufacturing industry, including:

  • identifying gaps in the market
  • finance and bookkeeping
  • marketing
  • connecting with supplier and customer
  • executing a business plan.

Businesses can be in many forms, for example:

  • producing and selling candles or home décor
  • starting a small clothing manufacturing business
  • making and selling your own hand-made items such as clothes, jewellery, knitwear
  • producing and packaging food item likes jams, honey, or chocolates
  • starting you own small metal fabrication workshop such as making signs or labels
  • small scale 3D printing business.

Find out more about starting your own business.

Get experience

There can be competition for entry level roles. You may want to consider a short course to build some starting skills. Taking a course in an area of interest can show you have learnt some relevant skills and knowledge.

Micro-credentials are short, certification-style courses that focus on a particular area of study. They are a clever way to build on your skill set. Search for short online micro-credential courses within the manufacturing industry, such as:

  • contracts and sales of goods
  • growth strategies in business management
  • supply chain cyber security.

Volunteer

Volunteer work can be a way to gain experience. You can find volunteering opportunities in your local area on the GoVolunteer website to:

  • work in wood workshops to make furniture to support people in need
  • work in warehousing and manufacturing services that help to provide meaningful employment for people with disabilities
  • learn new skills and build your confidence.

More information

There are a range of tools and resources that can help you decide if you will be the right fit for this industry.


 

1 Source: Jobs and Skills Australia, Labour Market Insights, Manufacturing, Industry Profile Data, released November 2023, accessed 9 February 2024. – Return to employee median pay

2 Source: Jobs and Skills Australia, Labour Market Insights, Manufacturing, Industry Profile Data, released November 2023, accessed 9 February 2024. – Return to entry level roles