What Are the Different Types of Factory Jobs?

Dan Cavallari

The most common factory jobs are assemblers or general laborers. These workers are responsible for assembling machinery or other products that the factory manufactures, and they may also be responsible for packaging finished products as well. These factory jobs are generally entry level positions and pay less than other jobs in the factory. Other jobs in a factory may include machinists, maintenance workers, janitors, handlers and packers, and supervisors. Each job focuses on a certain task, and the pay generally fluctuates according to the responsibilities one must take on while working at a certain position.

Welders make up more than 10 percent of the manufacturing workforce in the U.S, according to the American Welding Society.
Welders make up more than 10 percent of the manufacturing workforce in the U.S, according to the American Welding Society.

Handlers and packers are workers who take the finished products created by assemblers or laborers and pack them in boxes or other containers for transport. The packers will ensure the products are not damaged during transport while in the packaging, and they may be responsible for packing several boxes of product onto a pallet to be moved to trucks or other transportation. Some handlers must be certified to drive forklifts and other units used for transport of packages, and other handlers and packers must be trained in using the different packing machinery. These factory jobs may or may not pay more than an assembler's position.

Different types of factory jobs include maintenance workers and janitors.
Different types of factory jobs include maintenance workers and janitors.

Maintenance factory jobs involve installing, repairing, and otherwise maintaining machinery throughout the factory. A maintenance worker often needs special training to work on certain machines, so the pay for this position is usually higher than an assembler's pay or a packer's pay. The maintenance workers face the risk of injury when working on heavy machinery, and they must be knowledgeable of the inner workings of the machinery. They also need to be able to work on machines safely to avoid risk of injury to themselves or others.

Assemblers, or general laborers, are the most common factory jobs.
Assemblers, or general laborers, are the most common factory jobs.

Machinists operate the machinery within the factory. These factory jobs also sometimes require specific training, so machinists can make more money than assemblers. Highly specialized machinery is often present in factories, so machinists are trained to operate the machines safely and efficiently. They must also be able to recognize when the machine is not working properly.

Equipment maintenance and calibration are key components in ensuring factories can operate properly.
Equipment maintenance and calibration are key components in ensuring factories can operate properly.

Supervisors oversee the daily operations of the factory, and they are sometimes responsible for the hiring and firing of employees. A supervisor must attend to many different jobs throughout the day, from payroll to employee complaints. If a machine breaks down, the supervisor is responsible for organizing the repair of the unit. Supervisors must also keep track of all the product produced by the factory, and he or she will be responsible for improving productivity.

Supervising is a necessary and common factory job that is reserved for those with experience.
Supervising is a necessary and common factory job that is reserved for those with experience.
Factory supervisors may oversee the storage and shipment of finished products.
Factory supervisors may oversee the storage and shipment of finished products.
Factory workers assist with packaging items prior to shipping.
Factory workers assist with packaging items prior to shipping.

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Discussion Comments

stl156

I really have to say I think there are people that cannot work in the factories as low level people simply because of the amount of redundant work that is done.

I personally put myself into this category and I have seen many people come and go in the factory that I work for as a security guard, because a lot of people cannot handle the stress as well as the amount of redundant work that is required of their job.

Also the jobs usually do not pay a whole lot and a lot of the time the attitude with the factory is that people can be easily replace so the turnover rate is really low.

I feel like this is a type of job that someone has to make sure they have other plans for as they very well probably will not like the job and may just want to do it to get by.

Emilski

At the factory I work at there is a Subway located in the cafeteria, so there is a completely different organization located in the facility that is not considered part of the company property.

Although the security guards are allowed to go in there, no one else in the factory is, not even the plant manager, and whenever an incident happens at Subway the security guard is the go between for the factory and Subway.

I remember an incident not too long ago where someone sued the Subway, because there was metal in the meat, but it was not the factories problem, because it happened on the property that was occupied by Subway and not their company property.

I found this to be really interesting and I know that there are other factories that have food service jobs with other companies in their factory, but they are responsible for what happens in the corner of the building and not the people that run the factory.

kentuckycat

@titans62 - I have to say I did not realize how many people work in a factory that do not necessarily work for the factory.

At the factory I work at there are specialists that are hired for specific things, such as if they have computer skills or are maintenance workers, but most are simply low level factory workers that work on the assembly line building the parts that are needed.

Besides these workers there is also the chain of command on the production floor, several people that oversee the output of the regular workers, as well as the people in administrative jobs and clerical workers like secretaries.

I was actually surprised at how many different occupations there were at the factory and it almost seems like its own city when one thinks about it.

titans62

I work in a factory as a security guard and I am labeled as a contractor that works for a security company, but I get paid by the factory.

The same goes for the other contractors in the building that are always on call or have other jobs that are considered full time at the factory.

For example we have a person that does the temporary service hiring that works full time in the factory as well as custodians that are considered full time, but do not necessarily work for the factory, just at it.

Usually these jobs are easier to hold onto because one is contracted out to the factory and are harder to replace unless of course the contract with the other service changes.

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