What Does a Production Operator Do?

A production operator is someone who works on a production line or on a single job from start to finish. During the assembly or creation of products such as cars or computers, the production operator ensures that quality and safety standards are met. Special skills, such as the ability to solder or weld, are sometimes required. Frequently, the worker is tasked with performing repetitive assembly tasks, such as filling bottles or monitoring machinery.

The job description is similar to that of a machine operator, assembly worker, or production line worker. A production operator will typically work on a production assembly line or, if job or batch production is involved, will complete a production job. Assembly work, forklift truck driving, packing, and sorting parts are examples of duties that vary company. The operator is a part of the manufacturing process who collaborates with the rest of the team to ensure that products are produced according to specifications.

Repetitive tasks, such as screwing lids on bottles or skinning chickens, are common. At all times, the production operator must adhere to the company’s quality standards as well as safety regulations and procedures. Keeping the workplace clean and wearing protective goggles are two examples of safety measures. Work is sometimes organized in shift patterns, and night shifts are possible depending on the company. There is usually manual labor and occasionally heavy lifting involved.

Machines such as lifting equipment and hand tools are frequently used production operators. Knowledge of industry production standards is advantageous in ensuring that products are of equal or better quality than those of competitors. The worker may be required to keep records of output or stock levels, for example.

As a US industry standard, a high school diploma or GED is required to become a production operator. On the job, the worker frequently receives additional training, allowing him to work on various parts of the production line. Special skills, such as the ability to operate a lathe, may be required. Simple tasks, such as bending or shaping metal, inserting components into a product, or tightening screws, can be expected.

In a production line, products can be handled a number of production operators, each of whom performs a different task in order to create the finished product. In some companies, the position of production operator also includes a supervisory role over other production workers, similar to that of a team leader. People management skills are required rather than just assembly skills to ensure that production runs smoothly.