Plant workers are employed in factories, manufacturing sites, and production plants to operate machinery and process items into merchandise. They work in various industries processing the widest variety of materials. They are responsible for sorting and packing products as well as monitoring their quality.

As a plant worker, you will work the assembly line or operate machines in rotating shifts in industrial settings. You will have to endure noise and repetitive tasks, so stamina and dexterity will be valuable skills.

You will work as part of a team, so communication skills will be essential. You will work under the supervision of a manager and report any issues you can not solve. You will be responsible for keeping your area clean and carrying out your tasks according to safety regulations.

What Does a Plant Worker Do

There are certain skills that many plant workers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, dexterity and troubleshooting skills.

Learn more about what a Plant Worker does

How To Become a Plant Worker

If you're interested in becoming a plant worker, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 16.8% of plant workers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.0% of plant workers have master's degrees. Even though some plant workers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Plant Worker

Plant Worker Career Paths

Average Salary for a Plant Worker

Plant Workers in America make an average salary of $31,705 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $39,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Plant Worker Salary
$31,705 Yearly
$15.24 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Plant Worker

The role of a plant worker includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general plant worker responsibilities:

  • Unload waste containers from incoming vehicles. Stage waste containers for scanning in the biotrack system. Scan waste containers into the biotrack system for proper recordkeeping purposes. Load robot dumper with waste containers for processing. Place empty containers on wash line for decontamination. Operates container wash unit insuring the wash unit is operating properly. Removes clean containers from wash unit, inspects containers
  • Operates sharps dumper/sorting machine. Sorts out appropriate medical devices from the medical waste,
  • Perform quality control duties to insure process compliance. Insure load plans are accurate

There are several types of plant worker, including:

Warehouse Worker


If you've ever stepped foot in a warehouse, you know how much trouble is can be around the corner. From forklifts to other fun (albeit dangerous) machinery just waiting to be ridden or played with, it's easy to get hurt. Usually, during work there's not a whole lot of time for play so, hopefully, that saves you from a hefty medical bill.

As a warehouse worker, you'll have plenty of work to keep your mind off that machinery. You'll need to receive and process any deliveries of stock or materials that come your way and you may also be in charge of filling out those delivery orders, as well as sending out some deliveries yourself.

While you'll probably only be working eight hours per shift, you may think this job is a breeze. Don't forget that standing around for that long and moving heavy items can take a toll. If you work as a warehouse worker, you'll need to make sure you're taking plenty of breaks during each shift, which I'm sure you'll happily agree to.
  • Average Salary: $33,010
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Maintenance Technician


A maintenance technician mainly focuses their time on making repairs to equipment and property structures. When the HVAC unit stops working on the hottest day of the year, the maintenance technicians are the ones who will be called on to save the day.

Generally, maintenance technicians only need a high school diploma to get by in their career, although higher positions in the maintenance technician field may require a two-year program of some sort.

You know how we said that maintenance technicians may be called upon in emergency situations? Well, that may mean you'll be working outside of your normal hours. For the most part, you'll work a normal, full-time schedule. But emergencies may get you out of bed or interrupt your weekend. Just be prepared for those emergencies.

  • Average Salary: $43,293
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Ship Worker


The responsibility of a ship worker depends on what industry you're in. From being on a fishing crew to helping cruise passengers feel welcome, there's a whole world out on the open seas.

Since there are so many industries you could go into as a ship worker, you should be pleased to know that you'll have so many job opportunities. You may even start getting annoyed at how many job offers you receive. But at least you'll have your pick of the lot.

Many ship workers work long hours. As a cruise ship worker, you'll be at work for weeks, even months at a time. And, depending on when the fish are biting, you may have to adjust your schedule, if you're a fisherman. But if you're one of those people who should have been born a fish, then you'll fit right in as a ship worker.
  • Average Salary: $28,576
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Plant Worker Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active plant worker jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where plant workers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Plant Worker Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
6North Carolina1,267$29,127
13New Jersey758$35,341
14New York721$35,024
18South Carolina650$28,836
35New Mexico272$27,756
36New Hampshire248$31,853
37West Virginia242$27,284
39South Dakota197$27,919
43Rhode Island89$35,063
47North Dakota64$30,010

Plant Worker Education

Plant Worker Majors

19.9 %

Plant Worker Degrees

High School Diploma

54.3 %


16.8 %


14.7 %

Top Skills For a Plant Worker

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.0% of plant workers listed recordkeeping on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and dexterity are important as well.

  • Recordkeeping, 19.0%
  • Conveyor Systems, 16.9%
  • OSHA, 15.7%
  • Hazardous Materials, 14.8%
  • Plant Operations, 13.1%
  • Other Skills, 20.5%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Plant Worker Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Plant Worker templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Plant Worker resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Plant Worker Demographics

Plant Worker Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among plant workers, 18.4% of them are women, while 81.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among plant workers is White, which makes up 62.1% of all plant workers.

  • The most common foreign language among plant workers is Spanish at 75.0%.

Online Courses For Plant Worker That You May Like

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1. Understanding Plants - Part II: Fundamentals of Plant Biology


This class is aimed at people interested in understanding the basic science of plant biology. In this four lecture series, we'll first learn about the structure-function of plants and of plant cells. Then we'll try to understand how plants grow and develop, making such complex structures as flowers. Once we know how plants grow and develop, we'll then delve into understanding photosynthesis - how plants take carbon dioxide from the air and water from soil, and turn this into oxygen for us to...

See More on Coursera

2. Understanding Plants - Part I: What a Plant Knows


For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form—from Charles Darwin’s early fascination with stems and flowers to Seymour Krelborn’s distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. This course intends to present an intriguing and scientifically valid look at how plants themselves experience the world—from the colors they see to the sensations they feel. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, we will delve into the inner lives of plants and draw parallels with...

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3. Setting the Stage for Success: An Eye on Safety Culture and Teamwork (Patient Safety II)


Safety culture is a facet of organizational culture that captures attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and values about safety. A culture of safety is essential in high reliability organizations and is a critical mechanism for the delivery of safe and high-quality care. It requires a strong commitment from leadership and staff. In this course, a safe culture is promoted through the use of identifying and reporting patient safety hazards, accountability and transparency, involvement with patients...

See More on Coursera
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Best States For a Plant Worker

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a plant worker. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. Plant workers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $45,449. Whereas in Washington and Hawaii, they would average $43,029 and $39,882, respectively. While plant workers would only make an average of $38,809 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Plant Worker Jobs: 1,019
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Utah

Total Plant Worker Jobs: 462
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Oregon

Total Plant Worker Jobs: 583
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Plant Workers

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Top Plant Worker Employers

Most Common Employers For Plant Worker

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Silgan Containers$37,337$17.954
3Air Liquide$37,311$17.944
4Ford Motor$37,222$17.904
5Hormel Foods$37,154$17.8615
7General Motors$36,174$17.394

Plant Worker Videos