Manufacturing might conjure up images of a dimly lit factory that’s covered in a layer of dust as overworked employees handle dangerous equipment and machines. However, this is simply not the modern manufacturing environment we see today. Manufacturers are investing into new 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 thee million job openings expected within the next few years, it’s a perfect time to consider a career in manufacturing.
4 reasons a career in manufacturing might be for you.
1) Pay / Benefits
The number one is, of course, 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 are privy 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, too. In 2014 the average earnings for US workers was $54,450 a year, employees in the manufacturing sector earn on average $77,000 a year.
2) New Technology
Manufacturers have been investing in new technology to give them a competitive leg-up on the competition. Some of the new technology seen throughout the manufacturing industry includes, powerful software, advanced collaborative robotics systems, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and so much more.
These new technology are completely revolutionizing how products are manufactured and how the workforce handles the processes. From 3D modeling to working alongside impressive collaborative robots, manufacturing is driven by technology which makes it a perfect fit for today’s technology friendly employees.
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) fields are extremely hot throughout the manufacturing industry right now. All of this new technology calls for a new kind of manufacturer, one that’s comfortable with advanced technology. Programming industrial robots, working with new software and applications are quickly becoming the most important aspect of the manufacturing enterprise.
Manufacturers are having a hard time finding those with the proper skills and education to fit these new roles. This is in part due to the lack of qualified applications but also a lack of awareness by potential employees. Many with the necessary skills would not even think about applying for a manufacturing career. 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. But they could be missing out on a fantastic career opportunity just because they are unaware how the industry has evolved.
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 to grow professionally. Manufacturers are beginning to offer career maps to show employees exactly how and where they can progress through the manufacturing enterprise. Working on the shop floor doesn’t necessary mean that is where an individual will stay throughout 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 gap. Manufacturing offers competitive pay and benefits and there is limitless opportunity to grow professionally. The manufacturing industry is undergoing a transformation and now is the time to explore what the industry has to offer.