Factory Worker
How to Become a

Factory Worker

The complete career guide to be a Factory Worker: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $29,920
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 4.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

As a factory worker, your role will vary based on the type of factory you are working with. It can include basic functions such as manufacturing, processing, packing, quality control, operating machines and so on.

Recommended Schools

What is a Factory Worker?


Factory workers carry out a range of duties as listed below:

  • Read, comprehend and follow guidelines as specified by manufacturing practices, engineering change orders and blueprints when executing assigned work.
  • Keep your supervisor informed about updates in workload and receive instructions and assignments, either verbal or written.
  • Manage or operate machines efficiently, undertake regular inspections and monitor product samples for consistency.
  • Assemble raw materials to prepare, mix and measure basic resources before the manufacturing process.
  • Perform final steps such as spraying, polishing or coating the product, to bring it to a state of completion.

Day In The Life

In this career path, you will start early at the factory around 6 am in the morning. When you reach the site, you will mark your arrival at the attendance register, put on safety gear as needed and walk up to the assigned section of the factory. Based on the number of orders that need to be finished every day, your workload will vary. Many times you will be plunged into stressful work situations due to a shipment date being forwarded to an earlier date.

Working with your team, you will focus on overcoming challenging physical work so orders are completed in a timely manner. There are often social gatherings arranged by factories like a picnic or outdoors activities such as games and competitions for greater engagement among all staff. Sometimes, you will be invited to take part in these after hours, and enjoy some time off after a hectic workday.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

The average work day lasts eight to nine hours with a short lunch break in the middle. You will most likely work at full-time positions and even on some evenings and weekends. Overtime is common in this industry and you can expect downtime between new orders. For this type of work, you need to adhere to all safety standards to protect yourself from hazards and wear protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, hardhats and earplugs.

Growth Of The Job

Job growth will differ based on the type of factory work you are doing. Overall, those working with machinery and machinery maintenance will experience a 16% growth in their job sector between 2014-2024. With more sophisticated production machinery utilized in factories, specialised factory workers will be required to use them efficiently and run preventative maintenance checks.

With greater computer-controlled machines at manufacturing plants and factories, factory workers will be channeled into keeping this new equipment at its optimal state and operating smoothly. Those who complete relevant apprenticeships and higher education programs designed for specialised, industrial machinery-focused factory work will find the best jobs.

Typical Employers

Employment of factory workers is widespread. The most common employers include manufacturing companies, wholesale trade companies, food-processing facilities, power plants, construction sites, refineries and various factories. Some names of such employers are: Adecco, Randstad, SPX, American Crystal Sugar Company, Parco Incorporated, Natural Essentials Inc., Andersen Corporation, etc.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Factory Worker

Entry level positions for a factory worker require you to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. If you are applying for specialized jobs, such as an industrial machinery worker, you will be given on-the-job training between some months to a year, determined based on your past experience. On the job training provides you basic knowledge about routine tasks which could range from setting up your workstation, using grease or fluid properly to wearing appropriate safety gear on-site.

Taking high school or post-secondary courses in mathematics, English, blueprint reading, computer programming, mechanical drawing and electronics will be helpful for finding promising opportunities. Attention to detail and the ability to cope with a high intensity work environment is a must for interested candidates. To advance further, a graduate degree in a related profession such as technology, textiles, pharmaceuticals, food science and dairy science can lead to managerial and supervisory positions in the near future.

The ability to quickly learn and utilize diverse operating machinery in a factory will benefit you in this career path greatly. Based on the assigned work at the factory, you may handle delicate and small parts of a product, which requires a steady hand and calm focus towards assembling complex equipment or machinery.

Factory Worker Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Factory Worker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Factory Worker's can make an average annual salary of $29,920, or $14 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $21,520 or $10 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #701 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Factory Workers

  • 0.1%   Doctorate
  • 0.6%   Masters
  • 4.7%   Bachelors
  • 5.9%   Associates
  • 23.3%   College
  • 46.3%   High School
  • 19.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Factory Worker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 11,500 jobs for a total of 252,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 4.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #446 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Factory Workers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Temporary help services 78,700 13,600 14%
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 11,300 -400 0%
Motor vehicle manufacturing 8,900 -300 0%

Want To Be a Factory Worker? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →