The face of manufacturing is rapidly changing. Advances in technology and automation are increasing productivity and increasing the demand for highly skilled workers. Businesses are experiencing shortages of machinists, operators, and technicians as well as industrial engineers and manufacturing engineers. Today, careers in manufacturing offer higher hourly wage and benefit compensations than other non-manufacturing industries. With over 2 million job openings in manufacturing over the next ten years there is a need for young, skilled workers to enter the manufacturing field.
Enjoy 100% job placement and about 25% higher starting salaries than other industries!
You are basically guaranteed a solid, high-paying career by getting advanced training, a certificate or a degree from a post-secondary manufacturing program – not to mention you’ll be doing things that can have a big impact on other people’s lives. You could be making things that have never been made before, or creating pieces for medical devices that save lives! If you’re looking for an industry that has immediate job openings after graduation, you’ve found the right place!
A Career in Manufacturing Will Lead You to:
- Being paid well for your skills
- Learning new technologies
- Producing a tangible product
- Working in a clean, modern environment
- Having a career path
- Finding a variety of jobs that stimulate your interests
So Why Should Manufacturing Matter to You?
If you are a manufacturer, you know the answer to this question. But if you are a student, parent, or educator who isn’t familiar with today’s manufacturing, here are a few things to consider:
Manufacturing is Everywhere.
You only need to look around you any time, any place and you see the creations and value of manufacturing. Whether you are sitting in a crammed office, driving down the street, or out walking in the wilderness with only the clothes on your back, literally almost everything around you is a manufactured product, the result of people like you dreaming, innovating, and building to make something remarkable out of the most basic materials.
Manufacturing is Fulfilling.
The creative essence of manufacturing – whether dreaming up a product, innovating how to make it, or actually building it – being able to say “I made that” – makes every aspect of and every job in manufacturing fulfilling to so many people.
Manufacturing is Rewarding.
Manufacturing provides the best wages and benefits to workers with the widest variety of backgrounds and education. The average manufacturing wage is more than 20% higher than the average wage, and the benefits provided are among the best available. The potential for career advancement in compensation and opportunity are significant.
Manufacturing is the Future.
Manufacturing is the foundation of every healthy economy. It not only provides the best wages and benefits, it also provides the most support for other kinds of businesses. Manufacturing actually creates wealth, not just redistributes it. It is also the single greatest supporter and user of research, development, and technological advancements. Any society that wants a vibrant, prosperous future needs to have a thriving manufacturing sector at its core.
Constant advancements help make manufacturing the dynamo it is. But because it is constantly advancing, today’s manufacturing jobs require increasing levels of education, training, and skill. There are still many pathways available to anyone who wants to enjoy all that manufacturing has to offer. But it takes understanding the rewards and wanting to achieve them, and then having access to and taking advantage of the education and training required.
The jobs are there – the question is do you want them and do you have the tools to get them?
The NRL is here to help make sure the answers are yes.
MANUFACTURING CAREER PLANNING
Deciding on a career path can seem like a daunting task. Why start planning something that seems so far away? Choosing a career path early on can help you to become, not only prepared, but confident in pursuing your career goals.
What I can start to do now?
Find Your Path to Success
STEM Type™ provides you with the opportunity to connect your passions and dreams to the right opportunities so that you can not only Do What You Love, but find career success as well. Each of their 8 STEM Types is based on the real knowledge and skills you need to succeed in a variety of high-demand careers. By taking our quick quiz, you’ll discover your top three STEM Types, which will help you explore not only the occupations that best match your interests, but the resources you’ll need to pursue your dreams. So what are you waiting for? Discover your STEM Type™ today!
Open Up Your Textbooks
In order to be well-prepared to pursue a career in manufacturing, post-secondary institutions and industry look for students have taken and have an understanding of:
MATH & SCIENCE COURSES
Physics, Calculus, Pre-Calculus (including trigonometry), Chemistry, Geometry, etc.
WRITING & SPEECH COURSES
Manufacturing also requires great communication skills – documentation and technical writing skills are a must.
Manufacturing is an advanced field filled with high-tech equipment. Building a technical foundation early will allow you to hit the ground running.
Explore Manufacturing in Your Community
- Job Shadowing – get a first-hand look at what a particular job is like on a day to day basis and get learn what kinds of careers appeal to you.
- Job Co-op – Gain real world experience on the job while attending high school, technical college or a university.
- Internship – Learn the essentials of a particular job for credit while attending school.
WHAT WOULD I DO?
Wondering what kinds of jobs are in manufacturing? Want to know what kind of work you’ll be doing day-to-day? Check out the manufacturing jobs below to learn more about what these high in-demand manufacturing jobs are all about.
- CNC Machinists/Operators
- Mechanical Design/Drafting
- Electronics – Robotics
- Welding & Fabrication
- Industrial Technology
- Quality Control
CNC operator machinists oversee the CNC machines that shape parts from metal or plastic. They must interpret blueprints, manuals and other work instructions. They also study sample parts to determine dimensions of finished work pieces and CNC equipment setup requirements. They then set the machine and load it with the correct cutting tools. CNC operator machinists inspect work pieces throughout a production run. In addition, machinists measure and mark dimensions and reference points on material or work pieces as a guide for subsequent machining.
CNC operator machinists additionally clean and perform basic preventative maintenance functions on machines, tooling and parts. They must work safely to prevent on-the-job injuries, which includes wearing personal protective equipment such as safety glasses. They also inspect cutting tools for sharpness and usability. These professionals additionally detect malfunctions using precision measuring instruments such as micrometers, dial calipers, depth gages, indicators, and scales, according to T3 Energy Services. They might have to communicate with supervisors, engineers, production control employees and other personnel for assignments, and to resolve machining or quality issues as well.
Minimum Skill Set: CNC operator machinists should be able to lift heavy equipment using hoists, hand trucks conveyors, and lifts. They also must have knowledge of tool holders, cutting tools, fixtures and other accessories used on various machines. These professionals additionally must have strong oral and written communication skills, and be able to follow verbal and written instructions well. Those who have some programming experience have an advantage. CNC operator machinists must be able to stand for long periods and be adaptable to a changing work environment as well. Machinists also must be open to being exposed to noise, fumes, and varying temperatures. They must be able to perform repetitive motions and must have strong finger dexterity. Additionally, these people should have basic math skills that include geometry and algebra to calculate material fabrication.
No specific education requirements exist to become a CNC operator machinist, but a CNC operator machinist usually must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training are common. Some employers also look for job candidates who have at least a few months’ experience in a relevant manufacturing environment or who have completed a training program offered by some companies. Companies might want people with experience operating lathes and milling machines along with precision measuring instruments. CNC operator machinists undergo continued training regarding software and machinery upgrades as well.
A CNC programmer determines the sequence of shaping operations and chooses the cutting tools needed. He analyzes job orders, drawings, blueprints, and other data and then performs all the necessary calculations. A programmer writes programs or modifies existing programs and stores them on the machine’s controller using tapes or disks. After programming, he may ensure that the machines and programs operate correctly and that products meet specifications.
Minimum Skill Set:No specific certification is needed to become a CNC Programmer. Employers expect CNC Programmers to have familiarity with computers, computer programming, electronics, machine tools, and metalworks. The National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) has begun circulating a standard curriculum for CNC Programmers. Students completing the curriculum can take a practical and written exam that, if passed, provides them with a professional certification. The level of education required to become a CNC Programmer varies depending on the level of the job. Entry-level CNC programmers require no formal training and are often taught all the necessary skills on-the-job.
Position, align, fasten, and install piping, fixtures, or wiring and electrical components to form assemblies or subassemblies, using hand tools, rivet guns, and welding equipment. Construct or assemble an entire product or component of a product.
Minimum Skill Set: The average Assembly worker needs basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills in order to obtain an assembly job where they can be a good producer on the assembly line. These skills are normally learned through high school so a diploma or equivalent is all that is normally required for an Assembly line worker. The Assembly line work needs manual dexterity for operating machines and computers. Most Assembly workers need to be able to lift thirty pounds or more.
Entry Level Manufacturer
Average entry level manufacturing jobs can vary greatly due to company, location, and industry.
Minimum Skill Set: Entry level manufacturing skills can vary greatly due to company, location, & industry.
A QC job can include measuring whether existing products meet a set quality standards, planning how often sampling will be performed, determining the standards by which quality will be judged and/or establishing how products and processes will be improved to meet quality standards.
Minimum Skill Set: Engineering technicians who work as QC inspectors, testers, and samplers usually have an associate’s degree in engineering technology. Quality control opportunities run the gamut from unskilled, entry-level jobs to professional career paths. Minimum qualifications vary according to industry; inspectors for a clothing manufacturer may need to have only have high school diplomas while a pharmaceutical company may require degrees or certifications.
An entry-level industrial mechanics technician fabricates/repairs machinery, troubleshoots, installs, inspects, and maintains industrial equipment using mechanical, electrical/electronic, fluid power, and electromechanical technologies.
Minimum Skill Set: Communicate effectively with team members both verbally and written, read and follow instructions; demonstrate basic computer skills; follow safety procedures and codes as required, read and follow federal and state regulations; interpret manufacturer’s drawings; e.g., electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic schematics, ladder logic, read blueprints, perform basic electrical procedures; select/use proper tools, recognize potential problems, observe, compile, and record data Keep accurate records. Communicate effectively with team members both verbally and written, read and follow instructions; demonstrate basic computer skills; follow safety procedures and codes as required, read and follow federal and state regulations; interpret manufacturer’s drawings; e.g., electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic schematics, ladder logic, read blueprints, perform basic electrical procedures; select/use proper tools, recognize potential problems, observe, compile, and record data, and keep accurate records.