Production technician jobs are positions in which skilled or semi-skilled workers perform their duties in the manufacturing, processing, or repair industries. Manufacturing technicians assemble components or operate machinery to fabricate components for products. Processing technicians may package, inspect, or prepare items for final assembly. Repair technicians generally work in the aftermarket, but may be employed by a manufacturer for warranty service work.
Aside from any licensure or certification requirements, the educational requirements for production technician jobs are minimal. For some highly technical assembly or finishing operations, a certificate or diploma from a vocational college may be required, but for most positions a high school diploma and or experience is all that is needed. A union may be available for training and apprenticeship, depending on the location of the job.
The job description varies according to the industry and the item being produced, but common elements include good hand eye coordination, basic understanding of mechanics and safety features and the physical ability to stand for an extended period of time. For some production technician jobs, computer literacy may be required for the operation of some machinery. As these are primarily industrial positions, the ability to quickly learn procedures and standards is a must.
Typical production technician duties differ from job to job and industry to industry. Cleaning and maintaining tools and equipment, training new employees and reporting safety issues are almost universally required. If the position involves the manufacture or processing of healthcare or sensitive electronic products, maintaining a clean or sterile environment is included. Most production technician jobs will also have detailed procedures on the start up and shutdown of equipment.
The number of production technician jobs is expected to shrink dramatically, although some regions may actually see an increase in the number of jobs due to economic factors. Increasing automation continues to displace more and more production technicians. This is true even in the repair sector since it is economically prudent to dispose of many products rather than repair them.
Production technician jobs may offer a way for younger, more inexperienced workers to provide for themselves or their families. For the most part however, it is a declining field and will gradually require a more sophisticated workforce to perform tasks that are becoming increasingly specialized. Production technicians can use the income and the environment to further their career goals through education and exposure to new technology.