Paper Processing Workers


Paper Processing Workers


In papermaking, wood, recycled paper, and a small amount of vegetable fibers are turned into pulp, which is spread in a very thin layer, pressed, and dried. The mass-production processes in which large quantities of paper are made involve the use of highly complicated machinery. Paper processing workers are skilled and semiskilled production workers who complete this process. Also among this group of workers are research, technical, and supervisory personnel, who play various roles in the production of the end product. Approximately...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



On-the-job training





Personality Traits

Hands On


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders earned median annual salaries of $38,730 in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned $23,820 or less, and the top 10 percent earned $60,790 or more annually. Those who worked in converted paper product manufacturing earned mean annual salaries of $38,180, while those employed at pulp, paper, and paperboard ...

Work Environment

Most pulp and paper plants operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the days are divided into three shifts.

These jobs, like many other production jobs, can consist of doing the same thing repeatedly. Workers may have to battle tedium and boredom. In addition, some areas of the plant may be hot, humid, and noisy. The chemicals used in papermaking produce unpleasant odors.



Even though the demand for paper products is increasing, employment at pulp, paper, and paperboard mills is expected to decline by nearly 19 percent annually through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Perhaps the most important reason for the decreasing number of jobs is the trend toward computerization. As the industry has increasingly used technology to run the pulp and papermak...