The Career Clusters in a factory

The Careers Clusters in a factory
See what it’s like to work in a factory and the different jobs you’ll find for each Career Cluster in this Workplace Spotlight.

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Factories primarily function as the heart of the manufacturing process. They are physical spaces where raw materials are transformed into finished goods or products. These goods can range from everyday items like food and clothing, to more complex products such as electronics and vehicles.

Every factory operates differently, but they do have some commonalities:

  1. Shift work is common – many factories operate 24/7, so they need people working at all times of the day and night.
  2. Safety is key – much of the work is physical and there are lots of moving parts and heavy machinery involved, so staying safe is important.
  3. They’re found everywhere – including in regional and rural areas. The types of things a factory produces will vary depending on where it’s located.

Transform materials into consumable goods

Factories contribute significantly to society by facilitating mass production, fostering economic growth, and creating employment opportunities.

Key Tasks

  • Operating machinery to produce goods
  • Monitoring production processes for quality control
  • Maintaining and repairing equipment
  • Managing inventory and supply chains
  • Ensuring workplace safety and adherence to regulations
  • Inspecting finished products to ensure they meet specifications
  • Packaging and preparing goods for shipment
  • Assisting in the design and improvement of production processes

You can find factories in the manufacturing industry

Factories are generally found in the manufacturing industry. Factories exist to produce almost anything imaginable, including cars, food, clothes and textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, furniture, and more.

You can expect regular hours and on-site work

Regular hours  |  Work on-site  |  Jobs in all areas  |  Moderate job growth

Factory operating hours can vary significantly depending on the type of product being made, the specific company, and the nature of the work being done. Many factories operate around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, often in shifts to ensure continuous production. However, there are some factories that operate on a more traditional business schedule too.

On-site work is significantly more common in factories. This is primarily due to the nature of the tasks involved, which often require direct interaction with machinery, equipment, and other physical resources. However, certain roles in management, administration, or planning may have the flexibility to work remotely.

Factories can be found in all rural, regional, and metropolitan areas.

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a factory

People from all Clusters are needed for a factory to run successfully, but Makers are typically the most common Cluster. In many roles, you might find yourself performing tasks across multiple Clusters.


Makers play a crucial role in the hands-on aspects of production in a factory. They are typically involved in operating machinery, handling tools, and managing equipment that transform raw materials into finished goods. Makers are often responsible for ensuring that the production process runs smoothly and efficiently.

  • Machine Operators
  • Maintenance Technicians
  • Forklift & Truck Drivers
  • Machinists
  • Assembly Line Workers

Linkers help to connect the finished product from factories with wholesalers or direct to the public. They may also help to broker deals with materials suppliers. Linkers also play a role in customer service and relations, helping to solve queries and complaints of consumers who will ultimately use the factory’s products.

  • Sales Representatives
  • Customer Service Representatives

Coordinators are involved in planning, organising, and overseeing various aspects of the production process. They may be responsible for managing teams, scheduling shifts, and ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within budget. Their work is crucial to maintaining the flow of operations and ensuring that the factory meets its production targets.

  • Logistics Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • Line Supervisors
  • Administration Assistants

Informers in a factory are usually involved in training new employees, developing and implementing best practices, and ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations. They might also analyse data to identify trends, make predictions, and provide insights that can improve efficiency and productivity.

  • Data Analysts
  • Quality Assurance Officers
  • Training Officers

Innovators in factories are involved in designing, engineering, creating, and developing solutions that enhance the factory’s operations. This could involve improving production processes, developing new products, or implementing new technologies.

  • Engineers
  • Industrial Designers
  • Product Designers

Guardians play a crucial role in protecting and caring for the wellbeing of the workforce and ensuring the safety of the operations. They implement health and safety protocols, manage risk assessments, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. Guardians may also be involved in providing support services to monitor and care for the mental and physical health of employees.

  • Workplace Health and Safety Officers
  • Compliance Officers
  • Employee Wellness Officers

How do we expect working in a factory to change in the future?

The future of work in factories is expected to be shaped by a few key trends, driven by both technological advancements and changing societal expectations.

As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see an increase in the use of automation and robotics in factories. This could lead to more efficient production processes and potentially reduce the need for human involvement in repetitive or dangerous tasks. However, this also means that workers will need to adapt, acquiring new skills to work alongside and manage these automated systems.

As society becomes more conscious of environmental issues, factories will likely face increasing pressure to reduce their environmental impact. This could involve adopting more sustainable manufacturing processes, using renewable energy sources, or designing products that can easily be recycled.

While many factory tasks will still require on-site presence, some roles, particularly in management, planning, or design, may become more flexible. Advances in communication and collaboration technology could allow more factory-related work to be done remotely.