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What is a production operative? 

Candidate Advice

What is a production operative? 

What is a production operative? 

FA production operative works within a factory. They work on a production line assembling goods to be sold at a later process. There is a vast range of manufacturing sectors where operatives are needed. Being a production operative is a great opportunity to learn new skills and become a dependable team member. 

Do you need qualifications to become a production operative?

There are no strict qualifications for a production operative. Employers usually ask for GCSEs or equivalent. including English and maths, to show you have the skills to perform the tasks and work safely within a team. Some positions may require certain qualifications, but these are often in the more senior positions and not required for entry-level roles.

What skills do I need to become a production operative?

There is a vast range of sectors in which a production operatives may find themselves working. For example, the skills required for an operative to work painting and finishing parts for the aerospace sector are very different to those who work in food production, processing and packing food for the general market. Some of the most transferable skills a production operative needs are the following:

A willingness to learn

Assembly lines are busy and fast-paced work environments.  The ability and willingness to learn new skills and ways of working will help you understand more about the production process and help progress your career. 

Can work as part of a team

An assembly line is very rarely just one person. You will typically be working with a close team who have tight targets. The ability to work with people on a regular basis and help those in need is an invaluable skill to employers.

Attention to detail

When manufacturing goods, a high level of quality control can save your company time and lost revenue. By spotting issues with a product before it reaches the end of the line or, even worse, the customer, you can help improve your company’s reputation and yours. 

The ability to work independently

Whilst being part of a wider team, the self-reliance to work on your task without the need for supervision can help set you apart from other candidates. Health and safety plays a huge role in the world of production.

Many positions are open to new starters and require no previous experience. Others require experience in similar areas. Contact your local RE Recruitment Office to know if you are the right fit. 

How much does a production operative make?

The average salary for a production operative is around £9.70 – £10.50 per hour but can reach much higher for experienced operatives in specialised sectors. 

To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some of the current salaries advertised with us: Tewkesbury £10.42 per hour, Toddington £24,000 per annum, Evesham £10 – £11.45 per hour and Telford – £12 per hour for night work. 

A good rule of thumb is that the more technical the work, the better the pay. Machine operating requires more training and skill than a production worker and will be more paid. 

What hours do production operatives work? 

The hours are set and offer the ability to work full or part-time. Depending on their employer’s operating times. Some will work set hours every week, whilst others can work 12-hour days for four days and have four days off. Some factories have two shifts that work rotating shifts, for example, week 1- work 06:00 – 1400, week 2 – work 14:00 – 22:00. 

Are there opportunities for progression?

Factories are busy places with many opportunities for you to progress in your current role or move into another area of the factory. Once you have built up some experience in your current role, you can apply for a supervisor role looking after a small team below you and making sure your team hits their targets safely and timely. 

There are also a number of training opportunities for those who show willingness; and are perfect who want to upskill, such as those who want to become a machinist or learn to drive vehicles such as forklift trucks which can open possibilities and job growth. 

If you are looking to take your first role as a production operative or take the next step in your career, look at our current roles and let us find the perfect role for you. 

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