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Textile production worker

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Summary of occupation

Textile production workers use a range of machines and processes to produce fabrics, yarn and other textiles. Raw natural fibres, such as cotton and wool and synthetic fibres such as nylon and polyester, are combed, carded and drawn out into long strands, before being spun into yarn and wound onto special reels, called bobbins. Depending on the type of material or product, the yarn is then ready for weaving or knitting. In some cases, these processes can be performed manually by skilled craftspeople, however, most commercial manufacturers will use specialised machinery. The final steps in textiles production are dyeing and finishing, where fabrics and other textiles are coloured, have designs printed on them and are treated to keep them from shrinking, fading, wrinkling and/or soiling easily.

ANZSCO description: no description available
Alternative names: Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators, Textiles Operative, Textiles Production Operator, Textiles Technician
Specialisations: Carpet or Rug Maker
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A textile production worker needs:

  • a reasonable level of physical fitness
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • the ability to read and follow design specifications and instructions
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • the ability to maintain concentration while carrying out repetitive tasks
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Working conditions

In Western Australia, textile production workers generally work in factories and workshops in the Perth metropolitan area, though there may be limited employment opportunities with small, boutique operations in other areas throughout the state. The work environment can be noisy and working with automated machinery is potentially hazardous, requiring safety procedures to be followed to minimise the risk of injury. Some of the dyes and chemicals used in finishing procedures may release strong, unpleasant odours, though workspaces will generally be well ventilated.

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Salary details

On average, textile and footwear production machine operators can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. As a textile and footwear production machine operator develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Most textile production workers work with specialised machinery used for spinning, weaving and knitting fibres and fabric. They may also handle dyes and other chemicals used in the finishing stages of production. Most employers will provide staff with hearing protection, such as ear plugs or ear muffs. Textile production workers may work with a variety of natural and synthetic materials, including cotton, wool, linen, polyester and spandex.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a textile production worker without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.

You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a traineeship in textile production (complex or multiple processes) or textile production. These traineeships usually take 12 to 24 months to complete.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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