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Design and build America’s future
The manufacturing industry offers ever-evolving, dynamic career opportunities in the STEM fields. These opportunities are available for students wanting to earn a college degree as well as those who are ready to enter the workforce right after graduation. With opportunities for advancement, on-site job training, tuition reimbursement and competitive salaries and benefits, a career in manufacturing should be on every high school student’s list to consider.
Unfortunately, manufacturers are struggling to find the workforce they need to keep up with the demands of the industry. A big reason for this is a perpetuating myth that manufacturing facilities are full of general laborers who work in unsafe conditions in dead-end jobs. This could not be farther from the truth.
Top 5 reasons to consider a career in manufacturing
Manufacturing is a much more complex and multifaceted industry than many people realize. Today’s advanced manufacturing industry provides opportunities that your parents and grandparents never had. As you begin exploring career options that match your interests and skillset, here are a few more reasons to consider a career in manufacturing.
Work with new technologies
Innovations in the manufacturing industry have helped shape this country. Always on the cutting-edge of technology, manufacturers are constantly designing and implementing new, innovative technologies that will help them run more safely and efficiently. If you like learning about and using new technologies like 3D printing, robotics, internet of things (loT), and more, a career in manufacturing could have limitless potential.
See the results of your work
Manufacturing affects almost everything in our lives. Depending on your job, you could be making products that are used in everyday life or devices that will pave the way for the next medical breakthrough. Regardless, there is a certain satisfaction to being able to say, “I made that.”
With a career in manufacturing, you don’t have to worry about getting bored sitting at a desk or working on an assembly line until retirement. In fact, once you get a foot in the door, there are many different pathways for advancing your career. Most companies offer on-site job training, which will allow you the opportunity to advance your skills and knowledge so you can move up in the organization.
Use creativity and problem solving
Although stereotypes of manufacturing often include repetitive work standing at an assembly line for 8 hours a day, today’s manufacturing careers offer so much more. In advanced manufacturing facilities, you are likely to be asked to use fresh, creative thinking to solve problems and improve processes.
Job stability in a high-demand industry
Currently, manufacturers have more jobs available than there are qualified workers. As Baby Boomers continue to retire, and more manufacturing is brought back to the U.S. from overseas, the high demand for hardworking employees is expected to continue. Factor in competitive wages and a career in manufacturing can offer all of the rewards, challenges and long-term benefits that you are looking for in a career.
The manufacturing industry is diverse. It includes smaller facilities that are owned and operated by local families all the way up to large, billion-dollar companies that are publicly traded. These manufacturers may produce textiles, food and beverages, apparel, electronics, furniture, and the list goes on. Similarly, there are many different pathways you can take to earn a career in the manufacturing industry.
Take advantage of Career Technical Education opportunities
Ohio offers many CTE options for students interested in careers in the manufacturing industry. In some schools, these options begin in middle school and continue at the high school level. You can attend a career center for more hands-on learning and can even begin taking college courses before earning your high school diploma.
Start work after graduation
Check any job board and you are sure to find a list of entry-level jobs in manufacturing. These jobs offer competitive salaries and benefits and allow you to take advantage of on-site job training that will help you advance your career. If you are ready to start work after crossing that graduation stage, this may be the pathway for you.
Find an apprenticeship program
Manufacturing apprenticeships allow you to master a skilled trade while working and getting paid. There are many different types of apprenticeship programs, but they are all industry-driven and combine work experience with classroom instruction. Once you complete an apprenticeship program, you will earn a nationally recognized credential that provides a guarantee to employers that you are fully qualified for the job.
Earn a certificate or an advanced degree
There are many highly skilled positions in manufacturing that require advanced education as well as on-site job training. Positions like electrical engineers, quality control analysts and industrial machinery mechanics are just a few examples of jobs requiring higher education. Don’t forget, jobs like human resources, marketing and business management are all part of the manufacturing world as well. If you are worried about student loans, you may find a manufacturer that offers tuition reimbursement or a flexible schedule that will allow you to work while taking classes.
If you are considering a career in manufacturing, there is a wealth of resources that can help you understand the industry and choose a pathway. Some of these can be found on our resources page. You can also contact us for specific information, or to connect you with additional resources.