19 Pros and Cons of Working in a Factory

Factory jobs are usually easy to find, but they certainly have their fair share of downsides.

If you are considering factory work, it’s important to consider the pros and cons before taking a job. 

Pros of Working in a Factory 

The pros of working in a factory include:

  1. Easy to find work
  2. Few requirements for employment
  3. You see the results of your work
  4. Reasonable pay
  5. Benefits (insurance, time off)
  6. On the job training
  7. Learning new skills
  8. Plenty of exercise
  9. Ability to move up

1. Easy to Find Work

If you need a job fast, a factory may be your best option.

Factories are typically always hiring.

You may be able to get a job through the company itself, but many companies hire through a temporary agency. 

Temporary agencies specialize in filling positions fast.

However, in most cases, you won’t get the benefits offered to regular employees.

You may be able to begin work through the temporary agency, and then get hired by the company itself after you’ve proven yourself. 

2. Few Requirements for Employment

Many jobs have a long list of requirements.

However, if you are legally able to work in the U.S., and you are 18 or older, you can land a factory job.

Some companies do require a high school diploma, but you won’t need college or years of experience to get into the field.  

3. You See the Results of Your Work

When you work in a factory, the work is tangible.

You will be working with a physical product.

You may only be working with one part of the final product, but you may still be able to see the finished item. 

Knowing that you are creating something physical can give you a sense of satisfaction. 

4. Reasonable Pay

You won’t get rich working a factory job, but you can make a decent stable income.

There are jobs that pay much more, but these typically require education and experience.

Factory pay is pretty high when compared to other jobs with few entry requirements.

You’ll also have a steady income.

You’ll have a set schedule, and you are guaranteed to make a certain amount each week as long as you show up to work on time.  

5. Benefits 

If you are working for the factory, and not a temporary agency, you can expect a decent benefits package.

Most factories offer health insurance and paid time off.

Many also offer a 401k program, and some offer discounts on their products for employees. 

6. On the Job Training

Factory jobs typically provide on the job training.

This means you’ll begin learning how to do the job on your first day.

Some factories will provide an orientation day and begin your training then.

In either case, training is quick and you are paid for it. 

7. Learning New Skills

Factory work offers the chance to learn new skills.

You may learn how to run different machines, use a forklift, or perform quality control.

Well managed factories will offer these opportunities to employees who are interested.

If you have a talent in a certain area, you may be able to learn more skills related to it. 

8. Plenty of exercise

A sedentary lifestyle is a huge risk factor for many health problems.

If you spend most of your time sitting, you are at a higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis.

You also have an increased risk of depression and cognitive decline.

Factory work typically requires a high level of physical activity, which is why it’s known as manual labor.

This can help you stay in shape and avoid being sedentary, at least while you are on the clock. 

9. Ability to Move Up

When you work in a factory, you’ll likely start at the bottom.

However, you don’t have to stay there.

Factories typically promote from within, so you have the ability to move up. 

Instead of educational requirements, factories typically focus on your work performance and skill.

This means you can get a better job based on your abilities and hard work. 

Cons of Working in a Factory 

In addition to the benefits of working in a factory, there are quite a few downsides. 

The cons of working in a factory include:

  1. Physically demanding
  2. Long hours
  3. Monotony
  4. Quotas
  5. Extra work without extra pay
  6. Difficulty getting a day off
  7. Safety hazards
  8. Favoritism
  9. Feeling unappreciated
  10. Isolation

1. Physically Demanding

You won’t need to worry about the health risks of being sedentary, but you will be performing physically demanding work.

This can leave you tired and sore, particularly if you aren’t accustomed to the work. 

The physical demand is often one of the toughest parts of factory work. 

2. Long Hours

Factory work often requires long hours.

A typical shift is 8 hours, but many factories require you to work 10 or even 12 hours a day.

This can make it tough to create a work-life balance.

The physical activity involved can make it even harder, because you’ll be tired when you aren’t working. 

3. Monotony

Factory work often requires you to perform the same task over and over.

Simple tasks have the most monotony, but even more complex tasks can get boring quickly. 

This can make those long hours seem much longer, because your mind isn’t occupied.

You may find yourself spending a lot of time watching the clock.  

4. Quotas

Most factories have a quota that you are expected to meet.

This will vary based on your position.

If you are working on an assembly line, your production may be affected by your coworkers. 

This can make your days stressful.

If your coworker is slow, it can affect the entire production line’s productivity.

This can make you, and everyone else, look bad. 

Even if your production is solely in your own hands, it can still be a source of stress.

If you don’t meet your quota regularly, you can face repercussions, including losing your job. 

5. Extra Work Without Extra Pay

This occurs in other types of work as well, but it’s particularly common in factories.

You get good at your job. Instead of making your life easier, your boss just gives you other duties. 

For example, you are responsible for running one machine.

You learn to run the machine efficiently, and find yourself with time when the machine is going through its process.

Your boss may assign you the machine next to it as well.  

6. Difficulty Getting a Day Off

Some factories have strict attendance policies.

You may also need to request a vacation day ahead of time, which may or may not be granted depending on whether you are needed at work that day. 

You may also find yourself feeling guilty if you miss a day, because you know it’s more work for your coworkers.  

7. Safety Hazards

There are safety hazards in any industry, but factories have more than most occupations.

Machines, physically demanding labor, and moving materials with forklifts are the biggest concerns. 

Each year, more than 100,000 manufacturing workers are injured on the job. 

Today, factories take steps to reduce the risk of injuries.

You’ll need to follow all the safety protocols put in place by the factory.

However, these protocols are not fool-proof, and injuries do occur. 

8. Favoritism

You’ve probably heard the term office politics.

This also applies to factory work.

Your ability to move up or get the best jobs should be based solely on your work performance and abilities.

However, favoritism is often a factor.

Unfortunately, some employees may get away with not meeting their quotas or coming back late from breaks, while others are expected to follow the rules.

9. Feeling Unappreciated

Factories usually don’t offer a lot of appreciation.

You are expected to do your job, and you may not get any rewards for doing so.

You may also feel like you are nothing more than a number, or a cog in a machine.

10. Isolation

Factory work can be very isolating.

Even if you are working alongside others, you may not have time to interact with them.

You may also find yourself working alone. 

If you need lots of human interaction, factory work can have a negative impact on your mental health.  

19 Pros and Cons of Working in a Factory – Summary Table

Pros of Working in a FactoryCons of Working in a Factory
Easy to find workPhysically demanding
Few requirements for employmentLong hours
You see the results of your workMonotony
Reasonable payQuotas
Benefits (insurance, time off)Extra work without extra pay
On the job trainingDifficulty getting a day off
Learning new skillsSafety hazards
Plenty of exerciseFavoritism
Ability to move upFeeling unappreciated

Should You Work in a Factory? 

Factory work is a good choice for some people.

If you don’t mind physically demanding work and enjoy working with your hands, factory work is a good choice. 

You have the opportunity to move up with hard work, and you’ll have a steady income.

You can also get a job quickly, and without meeting a lot of qualifications. 

However, if physically demanding work isn’t your thing, you won’t be happy in a factory.

If you need variety in your job, factory work isn’t for you.

It can also be isolating, so reconsider if you need frequent human interaction. 

The bottom line is, if you need a decent-paying job in a short amount of time, you should get a factory job.

If you have marketable skills and time to find an easier job, you should probably avoid factory work. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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