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Become A Plant Worker

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Working As A Plant Worker

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • $36,630

    Average Salary

What Does A Plant Worker Do

General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings. They paint, repair flooring, and work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

Duties

General maintenance and repair workers typically do the following:

  • Maintain and repair machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings
  • Fix or replace faulty electrical switches, outlets, and circuit breakers
  • Inspect and diagnose problems and figure out the best way to correct them
  • Perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure that machines continue to run smoothly
  • Assemble and set up machinery or equipment
  • Plan repair work using blueprints or diagrams
  • Do general cleaning and upkeep of buildings and properties
  • Order supplies from catalogs and storerooms
  • Meet with clients to estimate repairs and costs
  • Keep detailed records of their work

General maintenance and repair workers are hired for maintenance and repair tasks that are not complex enough to need the specialized training of a licensed tradesperson, such as a plumber or electrician.

These workers are also responsible for recognizing when a job is above their skill level and requires the expertise of an electrician; a carpenter; a heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanic or installer; or a plumber, pipefitter, or steamfitter.

General maintenance and repair workers may fix plaster or drywall. They may fix or paint roofs, windows, doors, floors, woodwork, and other parts of buildings.

They also maintain and repair specialized equipment and machinery in cafeterias, laundries, hospitals, stores, offices, and factories.

General maintenance and repair workers get supplies and repair parts from distributors or storerooms to fix problems. They use common hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, saws, drills, wrenches, and hammers to fix, replace, or repair equipment and parts of buildings.

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How To Become A Plant Worker

Jobs in this field typically do not require any formal education beyond high school. General maintenance and repair workers often learn their skills on the job. They start by doing simple tasks and watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers.

Education

Many maintenance and repair workers learn some basic skills in high school shop or technical education classes, postsecondary trade or vocational schools, or community colleges.

Courses in mechanical drawing, electricity, woodworking, blueprint reading, mathematics, and computers are useful. Maintenance and repair workers often do work that involves electrical, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning systems or painting and roofing tasks. Workers need a good working knowledge of many repair and maintenance tasks.

Practical training, available at many adult education centers and community colleges, is another option for workers to learn tasks such as drywall repair and basic plumbing.

Training

General maintenance and repair workers usually start by watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers. They begin by doing simple tasks, such as fixing leaky faucets and replacing lightbulbs. After gaining experience, general maintenance and repair workers move on to more difficult tasks, such as overhauling machinery or building walls.

Some general maintenance and repair workers learn their skills by assisting other types of repair or construction workers, including machinery repairers, carpenters, or electricians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensing requirements vary by state and locality. For more complex tasks, workers may need to be licensed in a particular specialty, such as electrical or plumbing work.

Advancement

Some maintenance and repair workers decide to train in one specific craft and become craftworkers, such as electricians, heating and air-conditioning mechanics, or plumbers.

Other maintenance workers eventually open their own repair or contracting business. However, those who want to become a project manager or own their own business may need some postsecondary education or a degree in construction management. For more information, see the profile on construction managers.

Within small organizations, promotion opportunities may be limited.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. These workers interact with customers on a regular basis. They need to be friendly and able to address customers’ questions.

Dexterity. Many repair and maintenance tasks, such as repairing small devices, connecting or attaching components, and using hand tools, require a steady hand and good hand–eye coordination.

Troubleshooting skills. Workers find, diagnose, and repair problems. They perform tests to figure out the cause of problems before fixing equipment.

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Plant Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

78.0%

Female

21.0%

Unknown

1.0%
Ethnicity

White

82.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.8%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.8%

Portuguese

6.3%

Turkish

6.3%

German

6.3%

French

6.3%

Arabic

6.3%
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Plant Worker Education

Schools

University of Central Missouri

6.8%

Mississippi State University

6.8%

Delgado Community College

6.8%

Austin Community College

6.8%

State University of New York College at Cortland

4.5%

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

4.5%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.5%

University of Kentucky

4.5%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

4.5%

Miles College

4.5%

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

4.5%

North Dakota State University -

4.5%

Wayne State University

4.5%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

4.5%

Cerritos College

4.5%

Remington College

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.5%

Technology Center

4.5%

Iowa State University

4.5%
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Majors

Business

21.1%

Criminal Justice

9.4%

Education

6.4%

Automotive Technology

5.8%

General Studies

4.7%

Health Care Administration

4.7%

Computer Science

4.1%

Management

4.1%

Biology

4.1%

Precision Metal Working

3.5%

Nursing

3.5%

Communication

3.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.5%

Medical Technician

3.5%

Drafting And Design

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.9%

Information Technology

2.9%

Accounting

2.9%
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Degrees

Other

43.6%

Bachelors

28.9%

Associate

12.7%

Certificate

7.2%

Masters

3.8%

Diploma

2.6%

License

1.2%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Plant Worker?

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Top Skills for A Plant Worker

SafetyProceduresWashMedicalWasteAssemblyLineRANLoadTrucksHandToolsScanWasteOshaBIOCustomerServiceHeavyEquipmentInspectPackageSortIceCreamPlantEquipmentFuelOilHeavyMachineryStackWaste

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  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Wash
  3. Medical Waste
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Trained personnel on plant safety procedures for clamp truck operations, roll handling, preparing starch and machine operations.
  • Use the fire hose to wash away dirty partials Clean where the water was sanitized at.
  • Processed and sanitized medical waste Fork lift operation and yard dog driver
  • Operated assembly line controls to process automotive parts.
  • Position requires tolerance to extreme heat, the maintenance of protective equipment, and operation of remote crane.

How Would You Rate Working As a Plant Worker?

Are you working as a Plant Worker? Help us rate Plant Worker as a Career.

Top Plant Worker Employers

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Plant Worker Videos

470 Becquerels from Children's Clothes, Ex-Nuclear Power Plant Worker Reveals

LakesideInfo.com : Eubanks: Lakeside plant workers do nothing but sit on their lazy asses