Manufacturing has always been an important part of our country’s economic landscape, and manufacturing is alive and well, with opportunities abound. In fact, now is a great time to jump into a career in manufacturing, and here are ten reasons why.
1 Candidates are in high demand. Due to Baby Boomers retiring at a record pace and a small pool of candidates equipped with the right skills, there is a significant shortage of qualified workers in the manufacturing industry right now. This means more opportunities exist for those willing to train for them.
2 Competitive wages. According to The Made in America Movement, “The average worker earned $25.58/hour in February of 2016 compared to the U.S. average of $21.32/hour.”
3 Conditions are safe. Manufacturers are replacing repetitive and/or dangerous jobs with robots and shifting opportunities to those requiring more thought and skill.
4 On-the-job training. In 2014, manufacturers spent approximately $1,500 per employee in training each year. Not only do employees benefit by broadening their skill sets, but employers also benefit by building a well-trained workforce.
5 The industry is growing. According to a 2015 study, the U.S. manufacturing industry will add nearly 3.4 million jobs over the next decade to meet demand both here and abroad.
6 State-of-the-art technology. If manufacturing brings an image to mind of dirty, old, broken-down machinery, think again. Today’s manufacturing puts modern technology like Internet of Things, virtual reality, and 3D printing into play to create more efficient and safer operations.
7 The sense of pride. Ask almost anybody working in manufacturing what they like most about their jobs, and they’ll tell you that it’s the sense of accomplishment they feel from being a part of the process that produces a finished product. In fact, according to Quality Magazine’s State of the Profession survey, sense of accomplishment ranks above salary and job security in importance to manufacturing employees.
8 Flexibility of working shifts. Manufacturers often require two or three shifts to keep up with production. Shift work affords workers with the opportunity to share parental responsibilities without hiring childcare, go to school during the day and work at night, or even make some extra money by taking advantage of the shift differential in pay for working off-hours.
9 Today’s manufacturing means small business. If you’ve been turned off from manufacturing because you thought it meant working for a company so large that you’d get lost in the shuffle, it’s time to reconsider. In 2015, the Bureau reported there were 247,961 manufacturing firms with less than 500 employees in the United States, and of those, 187,862 had less than 20 employees.
10 Targeted education. Many colleges are offering certification and degree programs to help students gain knowledge in their desired field. Locally, Great Bay Community College, University of New Hampshire Center for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Innovation, and New Hampshire Technical Institute offer many educational opportunities for the next generation of skilled manufacturing workers.