Paper manufacturing operative, paper manufacturing worker, paper mill worker
Paper makers make products, including tissue and heavy board, from wood and recycled materials.
Salary range: £14,000 to £25,000
How to become a paper maker
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can do a papermaker advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can apply directly for vacancies. You might be taken on as a trainee. Although you do not need specific qualifications, you may have an advantage when looking for work if you have GCSEs in maths and English, or equivalent qualifications.
Experience in paper recycling, production line work or forklift training may be helpful.
You can find out more about working in the paper industry from the Confederation of Paper Industries.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to work well with your hands
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- observation and recording skills
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to use your initiative
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- operating processing machines
- removing metals and plastics from recycled materials
- overseeing the production process
- checking for damaged or sub-standard paper
- storing and loading paper products ready for delivery
You could work in a factory.
Your working environment may be noisy, hot and humid.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With training and experience you could move into jobs in quality control or paper technology.
Other career options include supervisory management, technical sales or production plant management.