The time has come for a new career, perhaps even your first full-time gig. Whether you’re about to graduate or simply in need of a job change, you find yourself contemplating a position in manufacturing. But you have a few questions (as we all do before we start something new). Is this the right industry? Will it be a good fit? And if so, why?
While we cannot give you your answer (only you can do the necessary soul-searching to figure out what’s best for you!), we can give you some strong considerations as to why it’s a viable and respectable career choice.
High Demand = Job Security & Career Path Opportunities
From cars to clothes to coffee, manufacturing companies keep our economy running. According to Deloitte’s recent survey, US manufacturing helped to energize the economy in 2022 and leaders anticipate a 2.5% GDP growth in 2023.
Many leaders in manufacturing are optimistic and eager to innovate. Challenges exist—we’ve seen the impact of global supply chain delays, inflation, and even cyberattacks within the last year—but so do opportunities. Around 62% are looking to further the use of robots and automations, along with diving into comprehensive data analytics and cloud computing. All of these avenues have great potential to create more jobs. That means, in the midst of unknowns and challenges, there’s still a world of possibilities on the horizon.
When considering roles, you have a plethora of possibilities and companies in manufacturing: maintenance, production, inventory, technology, management, and more! You could spearhead the next innovation in food processing or preservation. You could take raw materials and create something brand new in a production or fabrication position. With the variety of disciplines necessary to run a successful manufacturing company, there are often opportunities for you to cross-train and expand your knowledge in other departments.
Making an Impact & Contributing to a Need
Not only do you have an array of organizations and positions to choose from, but you have the chance to make an impact. From putting food on the table to giving families a mode of transportation, the business of manufacturing goods makes our daily lives possible.
Manufacturing can also make lives more enjoyable. From the speakers in a kitchen that provide the background to a dinner party to the security system that keeps your family safe and protected at night, these products enhance the quality of life for many.
And there’s something satisfying about creating a tangible, real-life product that can be used. From working with medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or electronics, you have a chance to construct the items people rely on everyday. And who doesn’t want a job they can be proud of at the end of the day?
Getting Paid to Learn New Skills
Another factor in being fully engaged and proud of your work is finding a role that provides financial stability, something that will take care of you and your loved ones.
According to employment data from 2022, the average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers rose 5.5% from the year prior and were just shy of the fastest wage growth since August 1982.
Many companies in the industry are looking for ways to offer even more competitive pay and benefits packages. Employees at certain organizations are 100% vested in all benefits from the start, can participate in retirement plans after 90 days, or add robust 401(k) options. That brings with it security as you build new skills.
By nature, when manufacturing advances with new technologies, so do the opportunities. What kind of abilities are essential in the industry? From soft to hard skills, there’s a great demand for skilled workers, giving you the chance to show what you have to bring to the table. You may already possess some of the talents on the list below, but here are just a few examples of what employers are looking for.
Digital Fluency – As technology advances, individuals must understand how to operate and utilize the new systems. AI and various automations can simplify certain procedures, but only if they are implemented accurately.
Data Analytics – How do manufacturers know if their processes are working? The proof is in the analytics. Knowing what metrics to measure and how to interpret the data keeps processes not only moving but improving.
Coding & Programming – From PLCs to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and other manufacturing-specific devices and machines to CAD software, CAM software, and CNC programs, manufacturers are looking for these technical and highly valuable skills.
Teamwork – No matter what industrial talents employees possess, working with others to solve problems and make progress is integral to the industry. Success takes a team.
Critical Thinking – When a machine breaks down, when supplies are low or in demand, creative and innovative solutions are needed to keep the ball rolling (and spirits high).
Communication – No matter how well you can utilize certain skills, if you can’t communicate on the developments made or the changes needed, progress can often be hindered. Always take the time to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Those are just a smattering of the needs in today’s manufacturing workforce. Knowing what skills you have to offer and the new ones you want to develop brings purpose and engagement to your everyday work.
The industry has a lot to offer you. From job security to career paths to making a difference, a career in manufacturing has been the right choice for millions of individuals. Is it the right one for you?
Want to look at the current openings we have in manufacturing? Take a look at our jobs and apply today!