Once believed to be a low-skill-level job with dangerous conditions, filthy factories, demanding labor requirements, and unsafe equipment, the manufacturing industry has transformed in recent decades. This is thanks to the rapid technological advancements in the field.
Today, advanced manufacturing facilities have clean, safe, and sustainable production standards. Moreover, the fabrication field utilizes state-of-the-art technology like artificial intelligence, computer-controlled machinery, robotic equipment, and more.
As a result, contemporary manufacturing careers now require professionals with skills, experience, and often, education. Trained professionals are needed (now more than ever) to fill cutting-edge positions, optimize production efficiency, and expand economic progress.
Are you considering a profession in production? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of working in manufacturing!
The Pros of Working in Manufacturing
1. Job Stability in a Sought-After Sector
Modern manufacturing workers design, troubleshoot, and adjust raw materials and parts into intermediary and final products. Advanced manufacturing employees also work to decrease costs, enhance quality, and increase the overall effectiveness of production.
Across the country, manufacturing employment saw steady growth over the past two years. At the beginning of 2023, the career trend continued — and the National Association of Manufacturers accounted for 19,000 jobs being added to the field within the first month.
According to the Association for Career and Technical Education® (ACTE), approximately four million manufacturing jobs will open nationally through 2030. However, two of the four million manufacturing careers are anticipated to go unfulfilled — signaling an SOS to workers seeking a worthwhile, stable career.
In Connecticut alone, the ACTE reported in January 2023 that 48% of jobs require technical skills education, but only 38% of workers are trained at that level.
Needing workers willing to learn the new career and technical tricks of the trade, the 2022 Connecticut Manufacturing Report noted over 4,200 manufacturing companies headquartered (and hiring) in Connecticut.
2. Exciting Specializations and Job Satisfaction
From CNC Machining to mechatronics and MIG welding, the manufacturing industry has a variety of exciting employment options. Depending on your interest, prospective manufacturing workers can attend workforce training programs and prepare for professions ranging from conceptual design to quality control.
In a sought-after industry catering to various interests, advanced manufacturing professionals also have an optimistic outlook for career advancement — with the likelihood of promotion into leadership and management positions being more than favorable.
Manufacturing jobs create critical parts and products that people use continuously. Whether cutting industrialized metal for a commercial product or fabricating a utensil for mealtime, manufacturing workers make an essential difference in our everyday lives.
3. A Higher-Than-Average Salary and Benefits
In 2021, as specified by the National Association of Manufacturers:
- Advanced manufacturing paid 12% more than other U.S. industries.
- Among private industry employees, 84% received retirement benefits, 90% had healthcare benefits, and 95% accumulated paid vacations.
- U.S. manufacturing workers made an average annual salary of $95,990.
- Manufacturing workers earned higher-than-average wages when compared to employees in other industries, of the same education level.
In 2022, as the Connecticut Manufacturing Report identified, the average manufacturing compensation in Connecticut was $101,136 per year.
Common Misconceptions of Manufacturing
A repeated manufacturing myth is the inaccurate belief that manufacturing workers are uneducated and inexperienced. This notion is the farthest from the truth.
Present-day manufacturing workers are highly skilled and innovative. Often, these professionals have obtained certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and beyond. There is no academic limit for learners seeking to advance their professional success.
Required Education: Short-Term Training for Entry-Level Employment
Considered a slight drawback for a select few, the education needed for entry-level employment in manufacturing typically involves the completion of a postsecondary certificate or degree program. While this is not true for all manufacturing jobs, postsecondary training is becoming a preference among manufacturers today. Candidates with training and education are typically prioritized and hired over those without.
Career-focused institutions like Goodwin University design manufacturing programs to enhance the crucial skills needed to solve common production problems. Attention-grabbing, in-class projects and site-specific apprenticeships allow learners to practice their professional trade and gain apt experience for employment.
Examples of manufacturing programs offered at the certificate, associate, and bachelor’s levels at Goodwin University include:
- Associate of Science in CNC Machining or Certificate in CNC Machining
- Associate of Science in Quality Management Systems
- Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Management
- Certificate in Computer-Aided-Design (CAD)
- Certificate in Mechatronics
- Certificate in Quality and Manufacturing Inspections
- Certificate in Welding Technology
- Industrial Service Technician Certificate
- Robotics and Automation Technician Certificate
Earning a manufacturing certificate or degree entails commitment, dedication, persistence, and patience. However, the awarded distinction can lead to a long-lasting and lucrative career.
Fabrication Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All
Although there are several career sectors and specialties within the field of manufacturing (a big pro!), the industry is ideal for workers with the following attributes:
- Creative, critical thinkers
- Hands-on problem solvers
- Tech-savvy strategists, and
- Workers with organized, technical, and operational mindsets
Do You Have a Future Working in Manufacturing?
Advanced manufacturing workers typically require some higher education training before becoming employed. However, rest assured that production professionals graduate with excellent outcomes and enticing career opportunities.
In-demand and influential, the manufacturing field is an innovative trade that aligns with various interests, while fabrication jobs produce a higher-than-average salary, employee stability, security, and satisfaction.
Are you ready to prepare for a profession you love? Discover how you can make a difference in advanced manufacturing today!