The 31 Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products Industry With Av. Salaries [Ultimate List]
Looking for the Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products Industry? Plastic products are everywhere, and the industry that produces them is massive.
In fact, the plastics industry generates billions of dollars every year, and there are many different jobs within this field.
We’ll cover the 31 best paying jobs in plastic products industry in this article.
Here is a break down of what we will be covering today.
What is Plastic Products Industry?
The plastic products industry creates a variety of plastic-based items, including packaging, electronics, textiles, and more.
The majority of jobs in this field involve managing and operating machinery used to create plastics at factories throughout North America and abroad; however, there are also some more general business jobs available as well, such as sales positions and administrative roles.
The plastic Products Industry is one of many subsectors within manufacturing that generally fall under goods-producing industries rather than service-oriented ones like healthcare or retail.
It tends to have above-average wages but less job growth than many other sectors due to the increasing automation of its processes.
The 31 Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products Industry
From executives to technicians, researchers to designers and engineers, there is a wide range of jobs available in plastics manufacturing.
Some of these best paying jobs in plastic products industry require a college degree; others don’t. Most of them pay well and are in high demand, at least for now…
For example, you can make big money as an executive: The top 10 percent earned at least $169,670 per year — almost twice as much as those who started in middle management positions with no previous experience!
Here are the 31 best paying jobs in plastic products industry so you can make your career choice with confidence and success!
- Machinery Installation and Repair Workers
- Plastics Material and Resin Mfg. Machine Operators
- Industrial Production Managers
- Fabricated Metal Mfg. Machine Operators
- Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers
- Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
- Fiberglass Laminators & Fabricators
- Blow Molding Technician
- Plastic Manufacturer
- Plastic Products Quality Engineer
- Production Supervisor
- Plastic Injection Mold Maker
- Maintenance Manager
- Plastics Engineer
- Injection Mold Operator
- Plastic Product Manufacturing Plant Manager
- Plastics Tooling Engineer
- Extrusion Engineer
- Extrusion Manager
- Extrusion Technician
- Plastic Technician
- Plastic Fabricator
- Extrusion Machine Operator
- Plastic Extruder Operator
- Plastic Welder
- Plastic Machine Operator
- Materials Engineering Manager
1) Machinery Installation and Repair Workers
The demand for plastic products is at an all-time high, which means there’s an abundance of high-paying jobs available to people who have a background in materials engineering.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that these high-paying jobs will grow by 13% between 2012 and 2022—and that figure may even be low considering how much strong demand is expected to continue driving up wages in the industry.
The next time you need to purchase a plastic product, keep your eyes open for machinery installation and repair workers.
These skilled individuals help get new machinery set up and ensure it’s working properly.
Average salary: $48,895/year.
2) Plastics Material and Resin Mfg. Machine Operators
These machine operators inspect, set up, or operate machines that produce plastic or rubber products.
It’s a growing field: from 2010 to 2020, it is projected that employment for plastics material and resin mfg. machine operators will grow by 8%.
The average median salary is $31,580 per year.
Plastics product testers/ inspectors/ graders: These job duties include
- inspecting products during production and packing activities;
- testing products during production to ensure quality standards are met;
- sorting materials used in manufacturing;
- and performing other quality control activities to maintain uniformity of manufactured products.
If you like working with your hands but don’t want to be doing the same thing all day long, then you might consider a job as a plastics product tester.
3) Industrial Production Managers
Industrial production managers are responsible for coordinating manufacturing and ensuring that products, machinery, and systems are functioning correctly.
The average salary for industrial production managers is $91,020 a year ($43.35 per hour).
Industrial production managers work primarily with plastics—like pipe fitting components or ABS plastic machine parts—to make products like toilets, computers, tables, doors, windows, and even airplane parts.
Although their main job is to oversee manufacturing procedures and oversee worker safety on-site (typically in factories), they also spend quite a bit of time completing paperwork and doing product testing as well.
4) Fabricated Metal Mfg. Machine Operators
This group of workers as one of the best paying jobs in plastic products industry earned an average salary of $37,080.
In addition to earning a living, these professionals serve an important role in society by producing many of our everyday products out of metal and plastic materials.
To become a Fabricated Metal Mfg. Machine Operator you need to complete post-secondary education or training programs as well as be licensed and certified by your state.
If you are interested in obtaining one of these positions, look into job sites like Monster for more information about requirements and opportunities.
5) Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers
Working as an electromechanical equipment assembler gives you some insight into how businesses and corporations operate.
Assemblers play a huge role in manufacturing by combining components, machines, and other materials to form a finished product.
People who work as electromechanical equipment assemblers might work on parts that are used to make communications devices or medical devices.
This job also makes it easy for people to move up to become supervisors of others. The top-paying positions make more than $35 per hour.
These are some of the highest paying jobs in plastic products industry available, outside of management positions.
Most part-time jobs pay more than $13 per hour while full-time employment tends to offer higher hourly wages.
6) Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
The number of plastics and rubber workers is expected to increase by 21 percent by 2022, driven by increased product testing needs.
In addition to that increase, there are also plenty of opportunities for industrial truck and tractor operators; drivers play a huge role in getting product from point A to point B so if you’re looking for an up-and-coming job that has low barriers to entry, then driving a truck might be your best bet.
Job growth is expected at 12 percent over a ten-year period as well as an average salary of $34,000—which makes it one of the highest paying jobs on our list.
For those with no formal education requirements, which is usually typical for tractor operators, training occurs on the job.
7) Fiberglass Laminators & Fabricators
While not always paying top dollar, electronics installation and repair are well-paying jobs that require no more than a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
The average annual salary for electronic home entertainment equipment installers & repairers is $53,210 per year ($26.59 per hour).
However, it’s not just set-top boxes they’re installing; they’re also making sure cable providers have working internet services and repairing home networks from time to time.
These are good jobs with decent growth potential—especially since few people know how to do them (in fact, fewer than 2% of workers in these fields have associate degrees or higher).
Workers typically need only a high school diploma to get started.
The job of grinder is one of the best paying job in plastic industry with average salary of 80,000 usd.
The title is given to those who decide to take up jobs that deal with making plastic products used in different industries.
A perfect example would be a grinder who works in a plastics factory and someone else who makes custom products out of plastic at home as a hobby.
The grinder is one of the highest paying jobs in industries that rely on using plastics as their main raw material.
Plastic manufacturing companies are willing to pay well for highly skilled workers with proper training and experience because they make valuable employees who can meet company standards for finished product quality and quantities.
9) Blow Molding Technician
The plastics industry is a major employer in a number of states, including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
According to industry experts, working as a blow molding technician can be one of the highest paying jobs in plastic products industry.
A blow molding technician works with extruders that produce plastic pipes and tubing. The average salary for blow molding technicians across all industries is about $51,000 per year; for plastic-focused operations it’s closer to $57,000 per year—nearly double what it would be in another industry.
This job requires an associate degree at minimum but also some on-the-job training so expect higher upfront costs before you start earning more than most other workers in your state (and country).
10) Patternmaker – Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products Industry
A patternmaker is a professional who works in plastic industry and inspects, tests, and prepares patterns for use in manufacturing processes.
A career as a patternmaker can be exciting but challenging. A thorough understanding of geometry and knowledge of CAD systems are often necessary to perform your job duties.
The job also requires strong interpersonal skills and communication skills to collaborate with clients, designers, engineers, technicians, etc.
As per BLS (2018), Plastic product machine operators have a median annual salary of $48520 USD with approximately 207 thousand employed at present.
Average yearly wages for patternmakers stand at around $72000 USD each year (BLS).
11) Plastic Manufacturer
Being a plastic manufacturer in the United States is an excellent job with a high salary. According to research done by Bureau of Labor Statistics, these workers have on average around $100,000 annually.
They are responsible for making plastic materials that are used in many aspects of our daily lives such as plastic toys and building construction materials.
It takes much skill and training to become a successful plastic manufacturer and it has been said that there will be about 3,300 new jobs available in our country over 2018-2022 period due to population growth and industrial development.
Workers are usually paid from $45 per hour up to around $70 or more per hour depending on where they work, their experience level, company size etc.
12) Plastic Products Quality Engineer
Quality engineers are typically responsible for ensuring that all products created by a business meet and exceed industry standards, as well as ensure safety standards are met.
This can involve anything from checking final products to ensure they’re in good condition and accurately labeled, to quality assurance at all stages of production.
As one of their highest paid jobs in plastic industry, Quality Engineer jobs pay an average salary of $89K annually.
So what makes them so special? Well, compared to many other high-paying plastic industry jobs (e.g., machine operators or technicians), Quality Engineers tend to need a combination of creativity and critical thinking skills—two skills which often go hand-in-hand with college educations from accredited institutions like community colleges or technical schools.
13) Production Supervisor
It’s safe to say that a production supervisor in a plastic products industry is concerned with quality control and production efficiency, but do you know what else they do? Production supervisors (or superintendents) work in a variety of settings: plastics manufacturing, food processing, electronics manufacturing—the list goes on.
In general, they oversee machine operations and are responsible for ensuring high-quality product.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 18% growth in production supervisor jobs between 2012 and 2022; with salaries ranging from $48,240 to $111,160 (Median wage: $82,440), a position as a production supervisor may be an excellent opportunity for people who enjoy following their passion while also receiving solid pay.
14) Plastic Injection Mold Maker
The average salary for a Plastic Injection Mold Maker is $59,000 per year. The more experienced you are in plastic products industry, then higher your salary will be.
For example, professionals with over five years of experience can expect to make an average of $60,000 per year.
Once again, your pay is directly linked to your level of education as well as how much money you’re willing to relocate.
You may also qualify for benefits depending on what state you live in.
And since plastic injection mold makers don’t need a master’s degree or specific licensure to enter their career field, job candidates with lower levels of formal education can still find themselves with a respectable job in plastic products industry and a large pay check!
15) Maintenance Manager
A maintenance manager for a plastic products industry can earn an average salary of about $78,000 per year.
In general, plastic products manufacturers use maintenance managers to oversee their plant and equipment maintenance activities.
Additionally, they may also oversee some repair and replacement efforts and work with management on project funding and scheduling.
While much of a maintenance manager’s time is spent overseeing employees, particularly at smaller operations, most jobs in plastics are salaried positions that also require a high level of self-sufficiency from workers as well as good communication skills;
therefore almost all require at least a four-year degree in engineering or industrial technology with an emphasis on repair or mechanical systems.
16) Assembler – Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products Industry
An assembler is a person who has all of his tasks assigned to him and he performs them, usually by operating machines.
An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added sequentially in a production process as they move down an assembly line.
This means that an assembler will work on a single part throughout its duration with different pieces of equipment as it moves through its production cycle.
Because of how long an average worker might be on one product, hand injuries and repetitive stress can become issues with most jobs in plastic production.
Assemblers generally take home about $25,000 per year, though senior workers could make significantly more.
17) Plastics Engineer
The life of a plastics engineer involves creating and testing plastic products, as well as designing plastic molds and tools.
One of their main responsibilities is to create ways for plastics to efficiently join with other materials like metal or wood.
They also make sure that these combinations are safe for human interaction. In addition, they must ensure that plastics can maintain structural integrity over time.
Other responsibilities of a Plastics Engineer include monitoring energy efficiency in production and maintaining proper waste disposal procedures at every facility they work with.
These jobs are common in more than 60 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The industry itself requires a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering as well as experience in either engineering consulting or manufacturing industries before you become qualified for one of these positions.
18) Injection Mold Operator
An injection mold operator is a job in plastic industry with average salary.
As an operator, you oversee all phases of injection molding and may be called upon to make a number of different types of molds.
You load raw material into your machine and calibrate it, ensuring that all temperature and pressure settings are correct before beginning production runs.
When operating your machine, it’s important to keep detailed records on its performance so you can maintain a high level of quality each time.
During downtime, you might need to perform repairs on your machines or attend classes on state-of-the-art technology at local colleges and trade schools.
19) Plastic Product Manufacturing Plant Manager
Plastics are in nearly everything these days, and that means plastic manufacturing jobs are popular. The BLS estimates that plastic product manufacturing plant managers earn an average salary of $78,090 per year.
This job description may vary depending on your industry (such as automotive vs. chemical), but here’s a general idea of what you might be responsible for as a plastics plant manager:
- overseeing all aspects of production, including implementing systems to improve efficiency and quality;
- handling customer complaints;
- making sure all staff members complete their duties and meet productivity goals;
- working with engineers to create processes or products that can be improved upon;
- staying up-to-date on new technology or regulations related to plastics manufacturing.
20) Plastics Tooling Engineer
The plastics tooling engineer makes just under $92,000 per year. The job requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering and typically takes 3 to 5 years of on-the-job training to become fully proficient.
Plastics tooling engineers plan and manage every aspect of injection molding and fabrication, working with plastics experts to ensure that production needs are met and quality standards are maintained.
Their high salaries can be attributed to their use of sophisticated technology in work areas where high precision is a must.
Tooling engineers commonly work at plastic injection molding companies, but other opportunities exist in plastic manufacturing plants as well as universities and technical schools.
21) Extrusion Engineer
If you’re looking for a job in plastics with high salary and low stress, then becoming an extrusion engineer is a great choice.
The average annual salary for an extrusion engineer is $78,000. That may not sound like a lot of money at first glance but keep in mind that many companies offer good benefits, including medical and dental plans, in addition to vacation days and paid holidays.
And you’ll never have to worry about long commutes as most jobs will be located close to home or your own office in some cases.
The job also isn’t stressful; it doesn’t require public speaking or working directly with customers.
22) Extrusion Manager
There is a lot to consider when choosing your career. Among other things, you need to know how much you will be paid.
A job as an Extrusion Manager in plastics products pays $82,000 annually on average—more than most careers.
These managers make sure manufacturing equipment runs smoothly and efficiently and conduct regular plant inspections to ensure there are no violations of safety regulations or environmental standards.
This is a good option for those who are detail-oriented and enjoy using machinery. Working with plastics can also have its benefits because it is flexible, allowing you to work from home or at night, as well as travel if needed.
23) Extrusion Technician
Extrusion is a type of manufacturing that compresses, hardens, and shapes plastic into materials for injection molding.
By learning how to extrude plastic, technicians learn how to create products that are lighter than metal but tougher than glass.
They use computers to program and control automated machines that carry out most of their job, meaning they can perform their roles independently with minimal supervision.
The average salary for an Extrusion Technician in 2015 was $50,970 per year. A top-earning Extrusion Technician could make more than $75,000 annually.
To become an Extrusion Technician with a high salary, you’ll need at least a two-year degree in plastics or chemical engineering.
24) Plastic Technician
A plastics technician handles a variety of tasks but primarily ensures plastic products made in a factory have a smooth finish.
The technician also tests materials to ensure they are safe for use and assists with testing equipment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that plastics technicians earned an average salary of $51,570 as of May 2015.
Plastic product manufacturing is one of those industries where skills learned on the job matter more than education, and workers often learn from an experienced technician before being promoted to that position themselves.
Some states require a degree in a science field such as chemistry to perform these jobs; check with your state licensing board for more information about specific requirements for your area.
25) Plastic Fabricator
When it comes to jobs in plastic products industry, you don’t have to be a chemical engineer (although that is certainly a possibility).
You can earn a living as a plastics fabricator by working with and manipulating raw materials, while also taking on an active role in production processes.
In some cases, you might even get to work with customers directly! According to Payscale, plastic fabricators earn an average salary of $55,000 per year.
If you can up your game and become a product designer at one of these firms, then your earnings could go up even more—in some cases all the way up to $100K per year!
26) Extrusion Machine Operator
The extrusion machine operator is a crucial role for any plastic manufacturing company. They monitor, operate and maintain high-pressure extrusion equipment and are in charge of making sure their machine runs smoothly and efficiently.
Extrusion workers typically receive one of two pay scales: volume or salary, so it’s important to research which option your employer offers before accepting a job as an extrusion machine operator.
You should also make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into as an extrusion worker.
The industry is highly competitive, meaning there are many applicants for every position, but that also means many people willing to work in unfavorable conditions.
Make sure you find out what you’re getting yourself into before accepting a job as an extrusion machine operator!
27) Plastic Extruder Operator
This is a job in plastic industry with average salary of $28,716.
Workers in plastic extruder jobs usually work full time and their duties include
- operating machines that heat, soften, and shape plastic raw materials into specific shapes;
- feeding plastic pellets or blocks into extruder machines that melt and blend them into molten plastic;
- monitoring color changes as heated plastic travels through pipes to a mold;
- and trimming excess melted material from molds to create finished products.
28) Plastic Welder
If you’re looking for a high-paying job in plastic products industry, consider becoming a plastic welder. According to BLS, these professionals earn an average of $27.68 an hour, with pay ranging from $20.14 to $37.38 per hour.
Entry-level positions pay around $17.48 an hour, with top earners bringing home about $39.50 an hour for their skills and expertise on a daily basis.
The most important skill for a plastic welder is attention to detail; without it, he or she might end up making welds that fail or defects in form that change how products function over time.
29) Extruder – Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products Industry
The extruder, which is often called a hopper feeder, loads and unloads raw plastic pellets into machines that are turning out thousands of pounds of goods.
It can be either a manual or an automated job. Both types typically pay around $10 to $12 per hour for entry-level employees, with experienced individuals making over $20 per hour depending on skill level and location.
Individuals working with jobs manufacturing plastics within the United States will make around $21 per hour, but those employed outside of the country will earn closer to $11. Typically, most extruders work three-on/three-off shifts during daylight hours (typically 7 AM to 4 PM).
The duration can vary based on location and business needs; some are six hours long while others are only four.
30) Plastic Machine Operator – Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products Industry
A plastic machine operator will be able to help generate a significant amount of tax revenues for your state.
The average salary for a plastic machine operator is $53,000.
There are also many other jobs that exist in such an industry and can bring about job creation as well as more revenue for your state.
For example, there are engineers, supervisors, and employees in sales & marketing who work alongside an Operator or on their own who directly contribute to bringing in tax revenues.
In fact, depending on which industry you’re interested in within plastics alone, there are dozens of ways you can make a positive contribution to not only tax revenues but also employment numbers and growth overall.
31) Materials Engineering Manager
Though plastics are typically thought of as a fast-moving consumer good, they’re also found in long-lasting home and industrial materials.
In fact, many plastics engineers spend their careers working on infrastructure and other structural components that last for decades.
According to a May 2016 report from Technavio Research, North America is expected to account for nearly a third of total global demand for engineering plastic materials by 2020.
This means there will be plenty of opportunities for those with engineering backgrounds who want to start a career working with plastics.
The highest paid job within the sector? Materials engineer, which pays an average salary of $109,000 per year, according to Glassdoor data provided to Salary Expert by some companies that hire people into these roles .
Best Paying Jobs in Plastic Products – FAQs
The main roles of a plastic factory are molding and extruding. These jobs require creative thinkers and workers who pay attention to details. It can be a tough job, but it’s also an important one because so many of our goods are made from plastic. If you are looking for a fun and interesting career, consider a position at a plastic factory.
It is the plastic industry that manufactures a lot of products out of plastic. And because plastic is cheap, it means that some of the companies get to manufacture their goods at very low costs. Hence they make a large profit.
And the best paying jobs in the plastic industry are those where wages tend to be high in order to pay those employees enough to risk their lives. This saves money for the company and makes them gain more profits.
The highest paid building trade is the plumber. The average annual income for a plumber is $60,250. They earn an hourly rate of $34.37/hour and with benefits that total around $17,500 yearly.
The starting salary of an entry-level plastic engineer in India is Rs 5 lakh per annum, but the average can go up to Rs 11 lakh. The industry is growing at a rapid pace, so there’s room for salary increases.
A competent plastic engineer can make over Rs 12 lakh per year with experience in India. A senior position might be available for someone with 15 years of experience, making over 30 lakhs per year on average. Both the government and private sectors offer attractive pay packages to experienced professionals.
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