Manufacturing might conjure up images of a dimly lit factory covered in a layer of dust as overworked employees handle dangerous equipment and machines. However, the public may not be aware of how far the industry has come. Manufacturers are investing in the latest technology and focusing on the needs of their employers to not only improve their image but their business as a whole. The manufacturing industry has come so far and the employment opportunities have as well. With three million job openings projected to go unfilled as the skills gap continues to persist. Now is the perfect time to consider a career in manufacturing.
4 reasons a career in manufacturing might be for you:
1) Pay / Benefits
The number one reason, of course, is going to be about compensation. Public perception of this industry has shown that many people don’t think that manufacturing offers competitive wages or benefits. This is simply not true.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 83% of manufacturing employees have access to a retirement plan. Only 63% of workers in other private-sectors have access to the same benefits. When looking at health care, 93% of manufacturing employees have access compared to 70% outside the industry.
Looking beyond benefits, manufacturing offers competitive wages. Average hourly wages in manufacturing increased gradually over 2017. Starting at $20.63 in February of 2017, hourly wages rose to $21.20 in December and even took a dramatic jump when looking at January 2018 to $21.37.
2) New Technology
Manufacturers have been investing in new technology to give them a competitive edge over the competition. Some of the new technology making its way into the manufacturing industry includes, intuitive software, advanced collaborative robotics systems, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and so much more.
The emergence of these incredible technologies and the speed of adoption are completely revolutionizing how products are manufactured and how employees work. From 3D modeling to working alongside impressive collaborative robots, manufacturing is driven by technology. This creates the perfect environment for those interested in the modern, high-tech world.
3) New Skills Needed
The environment in the manufacturing facility isn’t the only thing that is transforming. Manufacturers are looking for a new skill set from the workforce. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and training has become a primary focus for these modern manufacturers. All of this new technology calls for a new kind of manufacturer, one that’s comfortable and willing to embrace advanced technology. Programming industrial robots, working with new software, an understanding of cybersecurity and mobile applications are quickly becoming the most important aspects of the modern manufacturing enterprise.
Manufacturers are having a hard time finding individuals with the proper skills and education to fit the new roles. This is in part due to the lack of qualified applicants but also a lack of awareness by potential employees. Many with the necessary skills don’t assume a manufacturing career would make use of their skill set. The public perception is still outdated and those with a programming background might not apply for a position at, for example, a company like General Electric. Thinking like this is a primary reason more capable and educated individuals avoid looking to the manufacturing industry for employment.
Opportunity is an important factor when it comes to choosing a career. Individuals don’t want to be stuck in a dead-end job with no room for professional growth. Manufacturers are addressing this concern by offering career maps. These employment guides explain exactly how and where individuals can progress through the manufacturing enterprise. Working on the shop floor doesn’t necessarily mean that is where a person will stay throughout the duration of their career. Opportunity is everything and the manufacturing industry has plenty of it.
As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, there will be a need for more employees. Millions of jobs will be available in the upcoming years and a tech-savvy workforce needs to be there to fill in the skills gap. Manufacturing offers competitive pay, benefits and limitless opportunities to grow professionally. The manufacturing industry is undergoing a transformation and now is the time to explore what the industry has to offer.