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Salary Range
€18k - €30k
Career Zone

In Brief...

General assistants carry out a range of duties in factories. Tasks may include moving goods, cleaning up and loading and unloading vehicles.

Knowledge

  • Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills

  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.

In Summary - General Assistant - Factory

Career Sectors

General Assistant - Factorys typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Manufacturing
Engineering & Manufacturing

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The Work - General Assistant - Factory

Assistants often have different job titles, such as department labourer, factory hand or general operative, depending on the factory.  
 
General assistants carry out a range of tasks in factories, to allow other workers to get on with their jobs without breaking off.  
 
General assistants may collect and distribute raw materials to factory floor workers, machine operators or craftsmen/women. They may also move units and parts to different production areas within the factory at various stages, for example from the main manufacturing area to the finishing section.  
 
Transporting goods can involve operating lift trucks, hand-operated trolleys and, in some industries, overhead cranes, for example to move heavy engineering products.  
 
General cleaning duties are also often involved in this type of work. Assistants sweep floors and keep production areas tidy and clear of obstacles. They may also be required to clean machines and equipment. Some assistants will be asked to help craftsmen/women to set up machines for new product lines, which involves cleaning container tanks, attaching feeder pipes, fetching supplies and so on.  
 
Other duties can include helping to load and unload raw materials and finished products. This may mean working outside, in all weather conditions. In heavy industry, assistants are involved in slinging.  
 
General assistants are usually expected to do any jobs that need doing. This means working in any part of the factory, and filling in when people are off or when the factory is particularly busy with delivery dates to meet. Some packing work and machine operating might be a regular part of the job. They are responsible for the general maintenance and upkeep of the factory.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Operate machinery used in the production process, or assist machine operators.
  • Examine products to verify conformance to quality standards.
  • Observe equipment operations so that malfunctions can be detected, and notify operators of any malfunctions.
  • Lift raw materials, finished products, and packed items, manually or using hoists.
  • Count finished products to determine if product orders are complete.
  • Mark or tag identification on parts.
  • Load and unload items from machines, conveyors, and conveyances.
  • Help production workers by performing duties of lesser skill, such as supplying or holding materials or tools, or cleaning work areas and equipment.
  • Clean and lubricate equipment.
  • Record information, such as the number of products tested, meter readings, or dates and times of product production.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Interests - General Assistant - Factory

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Qualities

You will need to be flexible and willing to undertake a variety of different tasks. A helpful, friendly personality is an advantage. Factory workers may depend on you to help them to meet their deadlines, so you will need to carry out your work efficiently and on time.  
 
You should enjoy practical work. You also need to be willing to do repetitive tasks. Some jobs demand hand skills and co-ordination, such as operating lift trucks and controlling lifting equipment. You must be willing to take orders and work under direction from others.  
 
Good health and fitness is usually needed. Some jobs are physically demanding and involve heavy lifting and carrying. Work at heights is possible in some factories, for example climbing ladders to check inside tanks. Cleaning jobs can involve getting dirty.

Entry Requirements - General Assistant - Factory

Pay & Salary - General Assistant - Factory

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €18k - €30k

Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - General Assistant - Factory

Useful Contacts - General Assistant - Factory

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