Plastics process operative

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


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

Typical Education Level

Level 2 NVQ; GCSE at grades A*-C

Will retirement created job openings

In the UK, 16% in this profession are aged 55 or above.* They will likely retire in the next 10 years, creating a demand for new workers

*This is based on national data


Average annual earnings

The current average wage for plastics process operative is £19,500

602 positions

Current Employment

The number of jobs in the career for the current year is 602. Job counts include both employed and self-employed persons, and do not distinguish between full- and part-time jobs.


Job Postings

Over the past year, jobs have been posted for plastics process operative roles.

How well does it pay?

Normal pay for this occupation is £19,500 per year. That is about £1,625 per month or £10.00 per hour. New workers generally start on £18,949, while highly experienced workers can earn as much as £36,150

Is it growing or declining?

This career has remained the same over the last 2 years, and is expected to remain the same over the next 4 years. Currently, 602 people are employed in the region.

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