Plastics process operatives


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Plastics process operatives attend and operate moulding, extruding, thermoforming, calendering, covering, cutting and other process equipment to make and repair plastic products.


There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is typically provided on-the-job, supplemented by specialised courses. NVQs/SVQs in Plastic Processing Operations are available at Levels 1 and 2. Apprenticeships leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 3 are available in some areas.

Typical tasks

  • prepares machine for operation by affixing any necessary attachments;
  • weighs and mixes ingredients, loads machine with plastic to be worked or regulates flow from feed conveyor or hopper;
  • monitors controls regulating temperature, pressure, etc. and operates moulding, extruding, calendering, thermoforming and covering machines;
  • inspects plastic products for defects, takes measurements and repairs plastic belting and sheathing;
  • trims, cuts and performs other finishing operations on plastic using hand and machine tools;
  • makes artificial eyes and contact lens discs, and makes and repairs spectacle frames and plastic parts of artificial limbs and other orthopaedic appliances.

Common job titles

Filer (plastics mfr)
Blender (plastics goods mfr)
Manipulator (plastics goods mfr)
Maker, frame, optical
Worker, composite (aircraft component mfr)
Presser, hydraulic (plastics goods mfr)
Polisher, celluloid
Trimmer, plastics
Machinist, roller (plastics goods mfr)
Machinist, press (plastics goods mfr)
Quiller, comb
Turner (plastics goods mfr)
Worker, factory (plastics goods mfr)
Slicer (celluloid sheet mfr)
Injector, mould (plastics goods mfr)
Blower (plastics goods mfr)
Moulder, plastic
Maker, eye, artificial
Felter (plastics mfr)
Setter, machine (plastics goods mfr)
Machinist, calender (plastics goods mfr)
Machinist, extruding (plastics goods mfr)
Mixer, plastics
Maker, bottle (plastics mfr)
Fabricator (plastics mfr)
Laminator (plastics mfr)
Converter (plastics goods mfr)
Laminator, plastic
Stringer (plastics goods mfr)
Fabricator, foam
Turner, ball, billiard
Worker, bench (laminated plastics mfr)
Maker, sink
Polisher (plastics goods mfr)
Hand, flasher (plastics mfr)
Slitter (plastics goods mfr)
Maker, bottle, plastic
Operator, composite (aircraft component mfr)
Operator, extrusion (plastics mfr)
Maker, tube
Engineer, extrusion (plastics goods mfr)
Maker, Bakelite
Manufacturer (plastics goods mfr)
Trimmer, plastic
Polisher, Bakelite
Presser, block (plastics goods mfr)
Presser, plastics
Driller (plastics goods mfr)
Maker, tile
Fitter, composite (vehicle mfr)
Maker, frame (plastics goods mfr)
Man, mill (plastics goods mfr)
Machinist, plastic (cable mfr)
Colourist (plastics mfr)
Moulder, press
Moulder, compression (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, coatings, plastic (plastics goods mfr)
Engineer, plastics
Liner, tank
Maker, belt, conveyor (plastics goods mfr)
Spreader (laminated plastics mfr)
Machinist, buffing (plastics goods mfr)
Maker, comb
Setter (plastics goods mfr)
Roller, tube
Presser, lens, contact
Forcer (plastics goods mfr)
Machinist, coating (plastics goods mfr)
Machinist, cutting
Reeler (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, plant (plastics goods mfr)
Moulder, aloe
Machinist, guillotine (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, saw
Laminator, composite
Moulder, injection (plastics goods mfr)
Driver, extruding
Filer, plastics
Operator, plastic
Miller (plastics goods mfr)
Foreman, process (plastics mfr)
Moulder, tube
Finisher, plastics
Mixer, dough (plastics goods mfr)
Cutter (plastics goods mfr)
Extruder, cable (plastics goods mfr)
Mixer, colour (plastics goods mfr)
Laminator, grp
Machinist, stamping (plastics goods mfr)
Cutter, plastics
Moulder, fibreglass
Worker, process (plastics goods mfr)
Matcher, colour (plastics goods mfr)
Machinist (plastics goods mfr)
Cleaner, button
Maker, spectacle
Embosser (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, calender (plastics mfr)
Trimmer, Bakelite
Moulder (plastics goods mfr)
Maker, case, battery
Blower, steam
Machinist, plastics
Maker, ball, billiard
Grailer (celluloid goods mfr)
Mixer, dry (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, plastics
Polisher, frame, spectacle
Maker, frame, spectacle
Moulder, Bakelite
Trimmer (plastics mfr)
Hand, bench (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, rolls, calender (plastics goods mfr)
Former (plastics mfr)
Machinist, slicing
Sheeter (plastics goods mfr)
Twister, tube
Compounder (plastics goods mfr)
Foreman (plastics goods mfr)
Finisher (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, guillotine (plastics goods mfr)
Maker, tray
Maker, case (accumulator mfr)
Moulder, spindle
Machinist, cutting, plastics
Machinist, foam
Maker, ball (celluloid goods mfr)
Maker, plate, number
Operator, mill (plastics goods mfr)
Foreman, shop, press (plastics goods mfr)
Operator, tube (plastics goods mfr)
Assistant, extrusion
Grinder (plastics goods mfr)
Driller, button
Presser, polishing
Mixer, plastic
Worker, tile (plastics goods mfr)
Setter-up (spectacle mfr)
Machinist, moulding (plastics goods mfr)
Laminator, fibreglass
Operator, extruder (plastics mfr)
Filler, hopper (plastics mfr)
Operator, process (plastics goods mfr)
Hand, calender (plastics goods mfr)
Man, die (plastics goods mfr)
Moulder, injection
Mixer (plastics goods mfr)
Worker, plastics
Maker, bucket
Cutter, button
Presser (plastics goods mfr)