How to become a machine operator: Callum's story

Meet Callum, 21, to find out more about life as a machine operator. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Balancing work and family is important and this job enables me to be the family man I want to be.

  • Callum's favourite subjects at GCSE were Maths, Electronics and Design Technology
  • Knowledge in these areas allowed him to study Engineering at college
  • What he likes best about his job is learning how things work, his friendly team, and his hours
  • Callum works in shifts of either 6am-3pm or 3pm-midnight which means he's able to spend time at home with his young daughter.

Callum's career path

What to expect if you want to become a machine operator

(Based on a production worker in manufacturing)

  • Production worker salary: £14,000 to £20,000 per year
  • Production worker working hours: 37 to 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a machine operator?

  • Typical entry requirements: You can get a job like Callum’s through an apprenticeship or by applying directly to a company. You’ll usually need some GCSEs or equivalent, including English and Maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship. When applying for jobs directly, experience of production line work would be useful. You may have to take a test at interview to assess your practical skills.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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