How to become a Machine Operator (Non-metal Products)

Machine operators in non-metallic mineral product industries operate plant machinery and equipment to produce ceramic, clay, glass and concrete products such as bricks, tiles, pottery, cement, lime, paving blocks and glassware.

Personal requirements of a Machine Operator (Non-metal Products)

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Aptitude for problem-solving
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Able to multi-task
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Safety-conscious

Education & Training for a Machine Operator (Non-metal Products)

You can work as a machine operator without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a machine operator through a traineeship in Manufactured Mineral Products or Process Manufacturing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Machine Operator (Non-metal Products)

Machine operators (non-metal products) may perform the following tasks:

  • weigh, measure and mix ingredients
  • clean plant areas
  • clean and lubricate equipment
  • operate machines to combine and process ingredients or finish products
  • monitor machine operations and adjust pressure, temperature, tension and other controls to ensure products match specifications
  • collect samples for laboratory analysis
  • measure and test products
  • weigh and package products.

Working conditions for a Machine Operator (Non-metal Products)

Machine operators may work in areas that are hot and noisy. They have to wear protective clothing and may have to work shifts.

Employment Opportunities for a Machine Operator (Non-metal Products)

Machine operators are employed by manufacturers of bricks, ceramic tiles, cement and concrete products, pottery and terracotta roof tiles. Employment can also be found with foundries and glass or metal manufacturers. Promotion to team leader is possible for experienced operators.

Specialisations:


Clay, Concrete and Stone Machine Operator

A clay, concrete and stone machine operator uses machines to manufacture bricks, tiles, pipes, building blocks, railway sleepers, structural beams, facing stones, porcelain, pottery ware, cement, concrete and cast products.


Glass Production Worker

A glass production worker operates and controls machines to make molten glass, and presses or blows it into moulds to form or shape glassware products, such as bottles, jars and drinking glasses. They may also make insulation and fibreglass products.


Kiln Operator - Ceramics

A kiln operator - ceramics uses kilns or ovens to fire ceramics. They control the temperature, heating times and ventilation in the kilns and may also carry out inspections of the equipment to maintain performance.

Additional Information
Depending on the tasks performed, machine operators may be required to obtain a licence to Perform High Risk Work. Licences to Perform High Risk Work are issued under the National Standard for Licensing Persons Performing High Risk Work. You must be 18 years of age to be eligible to obtain a Perform High Risk Work licence. However, training may commence at a younger age.
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