A career in the NZ plastics industry offers a diverse range of opportunities in a fast paced and manufacturing environment. Plastics are used everywhere you look. It is a technology that is used in many industries including food (for packaging), medical (for life-saving equipment), and automotive (for fuel-efficient and light-weight cars). Almost every product you look at is, or uses, plastics.


There are many opportunities for a career in plastics. You could work in production, design, tool making or operations. A career in the plastics industry will mean you get to enjoy working in contemporary, clean, environmental and safety conscious workplaces for a range of organisations ranging from large multi-national corporates to small owner-operated businesses.

Today the New Zealand plastics industry employees around 10,000 people. Being part of it means being exposed to some of the most modern manufacturing, IT and continuous improvement practices to help bring new ideas and new products to market.

Five reasons to consider a career in the plastics industry

  1. Working plastics is no longer a dirty job – it’s a contemporary and exciting place to work using best practice in design, machinery, innovation and technology.
  2. There are a number of well paid, exciting career pathways from an entry level operator to specialist production and operations roles. Roles range from operating/servicing machinery and tooling through to designing and developing of new products.
  3. Once you have a solid foundation in your skill, it is relatively easy to cross train and branch out into other areas. This gives you a broad based career to help with job security and career advancement
  4. There are plenty of opportunities for on the job training through our training partners as well as Plastics NZ seminars, courses and yearly conferences. Gaining higher level qualifications by undertaking recognised courses and attending seminars will result in higher pay career progression.
  5. The manufacturing industry is essential for increasing New Zealand’s economy. Working in plastics enables you to contribute to the success of many different industries critical to NZ consumers and businesses.


How do I find a position?

There a several ways you can find a position in the industry but you need to be proactive.

These include:

  • If you are still at school, discuss options with your Career Counsellor. Consider enrolment in a pathways program or work towards a tertiary degree in design or engineering.
  • If you already have experience in the plastics industry prepare a CV with your work history and position sought. Send this to PNZ  who will advise members of your search (Looking for a Job)
  • Go to our PNZ Members Directoryand find the “Contact Us” for companies you would be interested in working for and make contact with them directly
  • Use the recruiters in the locations you wish to work and highlight to them your interest in a career in plastics
  • Monitor recruitment websites such as Seek, Trademe Jobs, LinkedIn and the local newspapers for positions of interest


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