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Pulp and Paper Operator

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Other Qualification Minimum Age 18+

Pulp and paper operators control various chemical and physical processes used in the manufacture of pulp and paper products from wood and waste paper.

The pulp and paper industry uses many different machines and technologies to manufacture products.

Plant operators are generally classified according to the process they operate, from initial pulping of woodchip and waste paper through to producing paper products.

Pulp and paper operators generally work in teams and in shifts.

Working conditions vary from control room based to field inspections.

Work can be physically demanding and may be repetitive.


    Pulp and paper operators may perform the following tasks:

  • operate specialised high-speed machines to manufacture paper according to strict technical standards
  • operate chemical and/or mechanical pulping plants made up of complex, interrelated process control loops
  • operate equipment that converts large rolls of paper product into smaller rolls, reams and sheets according to customer requirements
  • operate equipment that coats or finishes paper products, through perforating, embossing, laminating, printing, bonding and other methodsequipment that folds, wraps or packages paper products
  • inspect samples of products and laboratory reports, and adjust plant operations to maintain output and product quality standards
  • compile production records and reports


  • problem-solving skills
  • able to handle multiple tasks
  • mechanical and numerical aptitude
  • interested in sustainable solutions
  • high level of health and safety awareness
  • able to work as part of a team and under limited supervision
  • enjoy practical and manual activities

Interest Area



No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Other Qualification Minimum Age 28+

You can work as a pulp and paper operator without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

You can also become a pulp and paper operator through a traineeship in Pulping Operations or Papermaking Operations.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    Industry standards require pulp and paper operators to hold a licence to Perform High Risk Work in order to operate a range of loadshifting equipment, such as forklift trucks and overhead cranes. See the separate entries for Forklift Operator or Crane Operator for details.

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

    Industries Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


Pulp and paper operators work for mills that manufacture products such as containers, boxes, disposable paper products, family hygiene products, paper bags, newsprint, and printing and writing paper.

Paper mills are generally located close to the raw material needed to produce pulp and paper, and therefore are only found in select states.

Manufacturers operate in both city and country locations, but to assist with efficient and cost-effective transport, paper mills are often located close to the raw material needed to produce pulp and/or the transport hubs used to distribute the products.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Pulp and Paper Operator Appita Inc. ForestWorks Rural Skills Australia

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