2024 manufacturing industry trends

Manufacturing Industry Trends and Outlook for 2024: What You Have to Look Forward To

The job outlook for the manufacturing industry is bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), production occupations, including ones in the manufacturing industry, are expected to see an average of 933,000 job openings each year until 2032.

The manufacturing industry is vast, and those who choose this career path have a variety of career options to look forward to. For example, you have the opportunity to work in production, process development, logistics, inventory control, quality assurance, health, safety, environmental assurance, and maintenance, installation, repair, and more.

Plus, with the rise of digital technologies, the manufacturing industry continues to strengthen its efficiency and focus on building resilience across organizations.
These are just some of the manufacturing industry trends that will be of focus in 2024. Read on to learn more about the modern manufacturing industry and the changes expected in the new year.

What is Modern and Advanced Manufacturing?

The manufacturing industry is responsible for creating goods with the help of equipment, labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation.

While manual labor is not extinct, today’s modern manufacturing environments are filled with advanced technologies, computer-aided machines, and progressive software programs – allowing manufacturing professionals the ability and freedom to focus on innovation, precision, and quality. Employees work as teams to solve problems using their minds, hands, and state-of-the-art equipment to create high-quality products.

Simply put, modern and advanced manufacturing uses smart technology to expedite and improve production quality. Some common examples of this include:

  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Laser machining
  • Machine learning
  • Nanotechnology
  • Robotics and automation
  • Data analytics
  • Cloud computing

According to Deloitte’s 2024 Manufacturing Industry Outlook Report, the vast majority (83 percent) of modern manufacturers believe that smart factory solutions will transform the way products are made in five years. Smart technologies will be applied to the production environment with the goal of offering real-time insights, end-to-end visibility, and scalable solutions, as well as increased efficiency, labor productivity, sustainability, and product quality.

2024 Manufacturing Industry Outlook and Trends

Individuals looking to work in the manufacturing industry, especially those who desire cutting-edge careers with outstanding benefits like high salaries and tuition reimbursement programs, have much to look forward to in 2024.

According to Deloitte’s outlook for 2024, the manufacturing industry will be focused on advancing technologies, attracting talent, retaining great workers, and increasing safety and sustainability in the new year. Here are some of the top trends that you, as an aspiring manufacturing specialist, have to look forward to.

1. Increased Focus on Talent Attraction and Retention.

The manufacturing industry is up against a labor shortage, in which there are more job openings than there are skilled workers to fill them. As such, manufacturing employers will be placing a major focus on hiring and retaining skilled, qualified professionals in 2024. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), almost 75 percent of surveyed manufacturing executives felt that attracting and retaining a quality workforce is currently their primary business challenge. They will do so by:

  • Enhancing talent acquisition technologies to reach more candidates
  • Tapping into the networks of retirees in the field
  • Upskilling the talent pipeline and existing employees, through a bigger focus on education and training programs (like Goodwin’s workforce-ready program)

For years, manufacturing employers have been looking to hire and retain trained, skilled, and qualified professionals who can think quickly on their feet and work well with others. Critical thinking, innovation, and teamwork are some of the most sought-after skills in today’s manufacturing industry, on top of technical skills and training.

Skilled manufacturing employees not only design, troubleshoot, and adjust raw materials and parts into intermediary and final products, but also ensure their work decreases costs, enhances quality, and increases productivity and overall effectiveness of the production. All of which makes them essential in the eyes of their employer.

Similarly, employers themselves want to ensure that their employees feel safe and appreciated in their jobs and roles. Therefore, in 2024, they will be offering them more and more benefits such as flexible working schedules, remote work options, career advancement opportunities, and increases in wages. According to Deloitte, some of the biggest changes – and biggest perks – coming to workers include:

  • Flexibility, with close to 50 percent of manufacturing employers offering flexible scheduling to production workers.
  • High salary potential, with the industry already having experienced a 4 percent raise in average hourly earnings for employees between 2021 and 2023.
  • Increased benefit packages, with the majority of full-time manufacturing workers now receiving large healthcare benefits, paid time off perks, retirement packages, and more.

2. Increased Use of Digital Technologies and Artificial Intelligence.

Both manufacturers and manufacturing employees are increasingly looking for ways to use and leverage digital technologies and artificial intelligence to improve agility, resilience, and efficiency. And, according to the latest Deloitte report, many manufacturers are now striving for a smart factory approach.

Smart factories integrate digital, advanced, and artificial intelligence technologies into manufacturing operations. This provides real-time insights, end-to-end visibility, and scalable solutions, resulting in increased safety and sustainability and substantial cost reductions. Some of the cutting-edge technologies and tools implemented and found in smart factories today are:

  • Artificial intelligence: Uses machines, software, or technology to perform complex tasks, such as decision-making. Or, in the case of generative artificial intelligence, teams can generate and visualize multiple alternatives of product design based on input constraints.
  • Automation: Automation is used to complete repetitive tasks, but unlike artificial intelligence, it does not evolve or develop knowledge.
  • Computer-aided design (CAD): With this technology, computer software plans, designs, and perfects an item so products are safe, consistent, and effective.
  • Computer numerical control (CNC) machining: Manufacturers input programmed specifications and instructions to cut and remove material with this technology, allowing them to decrease material waste and ensure a product’s parts are accurate.

Keep in mind that while the use of technology has and will continue to grow in 2024, manufacturing factories and employers will still need skilled, trained, and educated workers to ensure this technology is working correctly. As such, candidates will continue seeing high job opportunities and stability as a manufacturing industry trend in 2024.


Goodwin University is committed to giving you the hands-on training you need to secure today’s most sought-after manufacturing careers. Explore our wide variety of manufacturing programs and discover which is the best fit for your future!


3. A Focus on More Sustainable Processes.

Governments, companies, and consumers are all interested in sustainable processes that lead toward a zero-emissions future and utilize green manufacturing efforts.

Green manufacturing is the renewal of production processes and the establishment of environmentally friendly operations where workers use fewer natural resources, reduce pollution and waste, recycle and reuse materials, and moderate emissions in their processes. These efforts also have led to increased investments in product electrification and decarbonization.

While these efforts are crucial to creating a more sustainable world, the shift does not come without its obstacles, like technical readiness, costs, and the management of battery supply chains and battery life.

Thankfully, the aforementioned groups are banding together through external partnerships, joint ventures, and even forming specialized divisions dedicated to green manufacturing efforts. In turn, aspiring manufacturing candidates can feel good about their contributions to their industry and the world.

Pursue a Modern Manufacturing Career Today

With 2024 here, there is no reason to wait to launch your career in the world of manufacturing. Whether looking for a hands-on career or seeking a leadership role, the various degrees and manufacturing education programs will give you the training, knowledge, and experience you need to navigate and thrive in the manufacturing industry.

Plus, as one of the leading manufacturing and machining schools in Connecticut, Goodwin University’s career-focused programs are flexible, fast-paced, and explicitly designed for motivated students. Programs include:

  • Computer numerical control (CNC) machining
  • Computer numerical control (CNC) machining, metrology, and manufacturing technology
  • Computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Industrial service technician
  • Manufacturing management
  • Mechatronics
  • Quality management systems
  • Robotics and automation
  • Welding

With so many positive manufacturing industry trends and outlooks in 2024, there is no better time to join this innovative field of makers and creators. Contact us for more information and how to find the best program and path for your future in the in-demand field of manufacturing.

Let’s crush your educational and career goals – together!