Machine Operators and Related Workers in Pulp and Paper Production

(NOC 9432, 9433, 9435)

in All NS Occupations

This group includes many machine-related jobs that require some skill and are generally performed inside a building. These workers assist with repairs and maintenance of machinery; feed conveyors and other equipment; handle materials; monitor machine operations; and clean work areas. Pulp mill machine operators operate and monitor processing machinery and equipment to produce pulp. Papermaking and finishing machine operators operate process machinery and equipment and assist papermaking and coating control operators to produce, coat, and finish paper. Paper converting machine operators operate various machines which fabricate and assemble paper products such as paper bags, containers, boxes, envelopes and similar articles. They are employed by pulp and paper companies and paper products manufacturing companies.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate Decline sharply employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 25 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All NS Occupations

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 33315 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline significantly over the next few years, which will limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Machine Operators and Related Workers in Pulp and Paper Production most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 74% of Machine Operators and Related Workers in Pulp and Paper Production who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $59,730. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$19.00

Minimum

$25.00

Median

$33.24

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,859

Minimum

$54,297

Median

$84,738

Maximum

Compared to: All NS Occupations

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$19.89

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,872

Minimum

$29,983

Median

$83,126

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group includes many machine-related jobs that require some skill and are generally performed inside a building. These workers assist with repairs and maintenance of machinery; feed conveyors and other equipment; handle materials; monitor machine operations; and clean work areas.

Pulp mill machine operators operate and monitor processing machinery and equipment to produce pulp. Papermaking and finishing machine operators operate process machinery and equipment and assist papermaking and coating control operators to produce, coat, and finish paper. Paper converting machine operators operate various machines which fabricate and assemble paper products such as paper bags, containers, boxes, envelopes and similar articles. They are employed by pulp and paper companies and paper products manufacturing companies.

Job duties

Pulp mill machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and monitor screening equipment, bleaching equipment, digesters, mixing tanks, washers, and other pulp processing machinery and equipment to carry out one or more cellulose processing steps.
  • Observe equipment and machinery panel indicators, gauges, level indicators and other equipment instruments to detect machinery and equipment malfunctions and ensure process steps are carried out according to specifications.
  • Communicate with pulping control operator to make process adjustments and start up or shut down machinery and equipment as required.
  • Collect processing samples and conduct titration tests, pH readings, specific density tests and other routine tests on pulp and solutions.
  • Complete and maintain production reports.

Papermaking and finishing machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and monitor various papermaking and finishing process machinery and equipment to dry, calendar, laminate, coat, slit, trim, wind or carry out other papermaking and finishing process steps.
  • Mount, position and thread paper rolls using a hoist.
  • Control process machinery using a distributed control system and process computers.
  • Observe equipment and machinery, panel indicators, gauges, level indicators and other equipment instruments to detect machinery and equipment malfunctions and ensure process steps are carried out according to specifications.
  • Communicate with and assist papermaking and coating control operators to make process adjustments and to start up or shut down process machines as required.
  • Inspect paper visually for wrinkles, holes, discolouration, streaks or other defects and take corrective action.
  • Complete and maintain production reports.

Paper converting machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate machines which cut, fold, glue or clip paper and cardboard to make boxes, corrugated cartons and other articles.
  • Operate machines which glue paper to cardboard and cut it into required lengths.
  • Operate machines which press paper to form drinking cups and other containers.
  • Operate machines which cut, glue and fold paper to make envelopes or paper bags.
  • Operate other paper converting machines to form products such as paper tubes, cards, paper towels or diapers.
  • Clean and lubricate machine and perform other routine machine maintenance.
  • Set up machines.

Sample job titles

  • baler - pulp and paper
  • box cutter - paper converting
  • box maker - paper converting
  • combiner machine operator - paper mill
  • grader - pulp and paper
  • paper bag machine operator
  • paper machine operator
  • paper products inspector
  • pulp maker
  • pulp mill machine operator
  • sheet paper inspector

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should be responsible, alert, and in good physical health. Coordination, agility, and a mechanical aptitude are important. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is required.
  • A college diploma may be required.
  • On-the-job training is usually provided.
  • Formal company training may be required.
  • A certificate in industrial first aid may be required.
  • A competency certificate in natural gas may be required.

Other considerations

These are largely rural jobs, and self-employment is not common. Previous experience as a labourer within the same company is usually required as an entry point to this group of jobs. There is limited mobility among some jobs within this group. Progression to control operator positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

185

employed in 2016

92.3%

employed full-time

5.4%

self employed

15.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
N/A

median age

Compared to: All NS Occupations

427,305

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

10.0%

self employed

49.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
50.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.7

median age

Where will I likely work?

33.3%

Halifax

28.2%

Northern

20.5%

Annapolis Valley

15.4%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

61.4%

Paper Manufacturing

9.1%

Information, Culture & Recreation

9.1%

Wood Product Manufacturing

6.8%

Metal Fabrication and Machinery (excl. electrical)

4.5%

Manufactured Mineral Products

What is the age of Employment?

44.4%

55-64

22.2%

35-44

22.2%

25-34

22.2%

45-54

Compared to: All NS Occupations

41.6%

45-54

28.6%

55-64

20.8%

35-44

5.2%

25-34

2.6%

15-24

Top levels of education

45.6%

High school

$38,101 median annual income
19.0%

Less than high school

$31,764 median annual income
15.2%

College certificate or diploma

$40,910 median annual income
13.9%

Trades certificate

$43,260 median annual income
5.1%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

38.1%

High school

$28,358 median annual income
22.9%

Less than high school

$21,011 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$36,968 median annual income
12.4%

Trades certificate

$37,356 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor's degree

$36,852 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Forest technology/technician

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to assist foresters in the management and production of forest resources. These programs include courses in woods and field skills, tree identification, timber measurement, logging and timber harvesting, forest propagation and regeneration, forest firefighting, resource management, equipment operation and maintenance, record-keeping, sales and purchasing operations, and personnel supervision.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

UNIFOR
63 Otter Lake Court, 2nd Floor
Halifax, NS B3S 1M1
Tel: (902) 455-9327
Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Occupational Health and Safety Division
PO Box 697, 5151 Terminal Road
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8
Tel: (902) 424-5300
Forest Products Association of Canada
99 Bank Street, Suite 410
Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9
Tel: (613) 563-1441
Fax: (613) 563-4720

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

MACHINE OPERATOR/LABOURER

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