Helpers--Production Workers

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Also known as:
Blending Tank Helper, Commercial Baker Helper, Machinist Helper, Slitter Helper, Tailor Helper, Welder Helper, Woodworker Helper

ABOUT PRODUCTION WORKER HELPER CAREERS
Video transcript

Despite all the advances made by automation, there's still the need for human helpers on the factory floor. Production helpers perform unskilled tasks around the work area. They may help assembly line workers set up or tend machinery, fetch or hold materials or tools, or feed items into the machines.

They use carts, dollies, and hand trucks to move materials between work areas. They may keep records of machine processes or clean the machinery after use, or sort and load finished products. It's often repetitive, tiring work.

Though a high school diploma or prior work experience is rarely required, being at least 18 years old and in good physical condition usually is. In most jobs, production helpers have to be able to stand for long periods, when they're not stooping, lifting or carrying.

Some helpers are required to wear protective equipment, like earplugs, gloves, or glasses. With training, helpers can move up to more advanced production jobs. These entry-level positions may not be easy to find due to the overall slowdown in manufacturing. An upturn in the economy could improve the outlook. Turnover is quite high in this field. You might find it a good temporary fit while studying or training for another career.

SNAPSHOT
Help production workers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
MED
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Lift raw materials, finished products, and packed items, manually or using hoists.

Observe equipment operations so that malfunctions can be detected, and notify operators of any malfunctions.

Pack and store materials and products.

Examine products to verify conformance to quality standards.

Operate machinery used in the production process, or assist machine operators.

Start machines or equipment to begin production processes.

Transfer finished products, raw materials, tools, or equipment between storage and work areas of plants and warehouses, by hand or using hand trucks or powered lift trucks.

Place products in equipment or on work surfaces for further processing, inspecting, or wrapping.

Remove products, machine attachments, or waste material from machines.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.