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What it’s like to work in manufacturing

People who work in the manufacturing industry work with products that may be used locally and abroad. If you’re good with machines, and like practical work, manufacturing could be for you. Leadership skills, and an interest in science and technology, can also help. 

What people love about working in manufacturing

Here are some of the benefits of working in manufacturing:

  • You can help create essential products that people use every day.
  • There’s growing demand across Victoria, so you can enjoy flexibility and job security.
  • You can upskill as you go. Manufacturing provides opportunities for career advancement when you’re already employed.
  • The work is flexible, which means you can tailor your workload to suit your needs. There are opportunities for part-time, casual, full-time and shift work. 

Where you can work

The manufacturing industry has a wide range of employers. For example, you could operate machinery at a factory, create metal parts for products, or package food products.

There have been major investments in Victoria in recent years, which is driving growth in advanced manufacturing. Jobs in new technologies, infrastructure and clean energy are growing. For example, you could develop products for wind turbines and energy plants.

Some of the manufacturing settings you could work in include:

  • factories
  • plants
  • mills
  • recycling plants
  • clean energy manufacturing plants
  • metal fabrication plants
  • health product manufacturing plants
  • food processing plants
  • defence, aerospace and space manufacturing plants.

Average salary

The average weekly earnings for people who work in the manufacturing industry in Australia is $1,300.

Source: Your Career(opens in a new window)

Please note that this salary is indicative only. A range of salaries apply to different roles across the industry.

Job demand in Victoria

Below are the projected employment forecasts for the manufacturing industry in Victoria. Figures show the number of workers in 2023 and the new workers expected to enter the workforce by 2026.

‘New workers expected’ accounts for workers adding new jobs to the economy and replacing retirees over the next 3 years. These forecasts are estimates only. There will be additional jobs available as people move between jobs and industries.

RegionWorkers 2023Workforce growth 2023-2026New workers needed by 2026
Melbourne – inner metropolitan20,7110.9%1,918
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan6,2290.8%547
Melbourne – southern metropolitan64,8571.1%6,278
Melbourne – northern metropolitan38,9180.9%3,551
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan43,6861.1%4,296
Melbourne – western metropolitan30,4430.9%2,785
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)7,7471.2%795
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)11,0740.6%948
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)12,0960.7%1,071
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)1,1940.4%93
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)2,3851.2%238
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)6,0721.0%581
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)6,9280.7%607
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)4,1160.2%292

Source: Victorian Skills Authority employment forecast dashboard

Resources to plan your next steps

Visit our manufacturing industry profile to find out about:

Explore growing industries in your region