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 for 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. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


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.

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

Machine operators (non-metal products):

  • 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.

Tasks

  • Collecting and examining samples for conformity to specifications and adjusting machine settings accordingly.
  • Setting up and operating glass-making machines to produce molten glass, and regulating temperature of molten glass.
  • Setting up and installing moulds and other machine fixtures.
  • Using hand tools to cut, inscribe and polish roughly hewn stone to finished condition.
  • Pressing and blowing glass into moulds to form glassware products.
  • Setting grinding and cutting edges.
  • Positioning clay and stone on machines to be cut and worked.
  • Monitoring the flow of clay and other raw materials and products into machines, and adjusting valves and controls to specifications.
  • Operating concrete mixing, stacking and splitting machines.

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.


Specializations

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.

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.

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.

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.

  • Average age
    Average age
    41 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    3% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,063
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    92% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    4,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.6%
    NSW: 25.6%
    NT: 0.8%
    QLD: 18.8%
    SA: 9.5%
    TAS: 1.5%
    VIC: 29.5%
    WA: 13.5%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 1.7%
    20-24: 8.3%
    25-34: 23.4%
    35-44: 26.1%
    45-54: 24.3%
    55-59: 8.7%
    60-64: 5.1%
    65 and Over: 2.2%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 5.1%
    Bachelor degree: 4.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 28.6%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.5%
    Year 10 and below: 28.4%
    Year 11: 8.3%
    Year 12: 24.4%
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