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Where
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Manufacturing

What is Manufacturing? 

Manufacturing is the industry that makes everything you own! You might have pre-concevied notions that manufacturing is old-fashioned but modern day manufacturing is clean, tuned up, light, fast-paced, team-oriented, focused on sustainability and filled with cool technologies that leverage precision.

Manufacturing jobs are in high demand across the nation. Over the past few decades, the shift towards office and computer work has created a growing gap. The gap is so wide that nam.org predicts 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030. Though people often worry about automation and robotics replacing human workers, skilled labor is not at risk. On this page, you’ll learn about how to get into the manufacturing industry! 

Why we Love Manufacturing

From nanotechnology to robotics, innovative ideas happen every day. But the manufacturing industry transforms these raw ideas into the must-have products that improve the lives of everyone around us! With a career in manufacturing you will have the opportunity to create something real and not sit in an office all day. According to Terra, here are 5 reasons to consider a career in manufacturing:

  1. Manufacturing jobs offer a ton of entry-level opportunities.
  2. You can actually see the result of your hard work.
  3. There’s a lot of money to be made in manufacturing.
  4. Working in manufacturing keeps you active.
  5. Manufacturing jobs offer several avenues for growth and development.

 

We highly recommend you give manufacturing a try even if you feel initially resistant. Many companies will give you a tour of the facility if you ask to image yourself working there. Companies are looking for all types of workers and are willing to incentivize you to stay and grow in your role. You can live almost anywhere in the country and get a high paying job with great benefits in manufacturing. Plus, it’s exciting and touches almost every facet of our lives including aerospace, food, robots, pharmaceuticals, solar panels, electronics, household products, cars, and more! 

Manufacturing Image
“I don't spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems.”
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Billionaire CEO
$ 0 an hour
Starting wage for many entry level manufacturing jobs

Please keep in mind that this is an industry that is making awesome things, so it requires your physical presence. It’s important you show up for your interview and are committed to a work schedule. the bonus to that is you always know your schedule, you typically have a lot of paid time off, and when you are done with work for the day, you are done! Great for mental health. 

Skilled trade apprenticeship programs are fairly common in manufacturing careers; they allow newcomers to receive training and gain hands-on experience while earning wages. Apprenticeships are also a good way to learn if you’re interested in an industry, since there isn’t much commitment to trying the career. Apprenticeship.gov is an excellent national resource for finding skilled trade apprenticeship programs around you.


If you’re not quite ready for an apprenticeship in a specific trade, try connecting with someone in the industry and ask to shadow them for a day before you decide to do a formal program. Ask about potential job opportunities that would allow you to observe their work and environment before you receive training.

 

Trade associations and unions can also help you get ahead! Explore the resources below to find links to local trade unions or trade associations for the industry of your choosing. Trade associations and unions are groups of workers in similar industries who help negotiate better wages, working conditions, and opportunities for their members. Unions also help standardize methods and practices across their industries while working as large networks for their members. For more info about local unions or trade associations, check out this list of US Industry trade groups and trade associations.

Things have come a long way in manufacturing and safety it a top priority. Robots, machine monitoring, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and automation are all employed to ensure that the workplace is a smart, clean and safe one.

Manufacturing has always driven innovation: 3D printing, the IIoT, drones, robotics, for example. We adopt new technologies before they become widely available on the consumer market, so we get the opportunity to use and perfect the development of these cutting-edge technologies.

Manufacturing offers competitive pay and benefit packages. There’s a higher percentage of workers in manufacturing with retirement plans, in comparison with other private sector industries. And there’s often a good range of health care benefits available, and on a more generous basis than in other industries.

Pay, on average, is higher for equivalent roles in other industries.

Many of the workers attributed their satisfaction to excellent pay/benefits, camaraderie with coworkers, stimulating projects and work, the usefulness of their work, and a state of constant learning.

Many white collar workers are plagued by pressures of unpaid overtime or experience wage theft. Since work can often be taken home or done after hours, workers often feel pressured to finish projects despite the negative consequences of doing so. With manufacturing careers, boundaries such as machines and materials help prevent work from being taken home. Strict federal and state laws dictate hours, locations, and protocol for these types of jobs. A work-life balance is much easier to maintain when work remains at the job site.

Hear from someone in manufacturing in this video below

Manufacturing Sub-Categories

Machinist Operators and Programmers

Welder/ Solderer

Production and Assembly

Electrical Technician

Production and Assembly

Quality Assurance and Control

Logistics and Supply Chain

Engineering Technician

Great Resources to Get Into Manufacturing

Check These out First

CAMA – Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Association – If you are in Colorado, check out your job matches here

ManufacturingJobs.com – search for open jobs in the industry!

List of US Industry Trade Groups and Trade Associations – Find the manufacturing association in your state and they will help you find a job. 

Other Links

Find your Workforce Development Board (Searching by State Recommended).  Most Workforce Development Boards have connections to manufacturers and access to free training and support.

US Government Apprenticeship Finder – many manufacturing companies offer paid apprenticeships! 

Mike Rowe’s (from Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs) Skilled Trades Job Board

Manufacturing Job Image