pros and cons of working in a factory

The Pros and Cons of Working in Manufacturing

Once believed to be a low skill-level job with dangerous conditions, filthy factories, demanding labor requirements, and unsafe equipment, the manufacturing industry has undergone an incredible transformation. Thanks to the rapid technological advancements in the field, manufacturing is safer, cleaner, and more efficient than ever before. There are now some incredible pros of working in manufacturing, and most technicians would agree that these far surpass the “cons.”

Today, advanced manufacturing facilities have safety standards and sustainable processes to protect their employees. Manufacturers also use state-of-the-art technology like artificial intelligence, computer-controlled machinery, robotic equipment, and more to streamline the production of high-quality goods. Not to mention, employers are rewarding their employees more than ever, with increasing salary figures, benefit packages, flexible scheduling options, and more.

If you are considering a career in manufacturing, read on. Below we explore the pros and cons of working in manufacturing, in 2024 and beyond.

The Pros of Working in Manufacturing

1. Strong Job Prospects and Job Stability.

Manufacturing is imperative to the U.S. economy, and has been deemed a “vital engine of economic growth, innovation, and competitiveness” by the U.S. Department of Defense. American manufacturers contribute more than $2.35 trillion to the national economy, making it the most impactful sector today. So, what does this mean for you? Manufacturers are essential, and so are their employees.

Manufacturing technicians and specialists will always be in demand, so long as our country exists. As a result, employers are making employee retention a primary focus in 2024. As cited in Deloitte’s latest industry report, almost 75 percent of manufacturing executives agree that attracting and retaining a quality workforce is currently their main business objective.

And 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. This is because there are not enough skilled candidates to fill the available jobs.

If you are seeking a career that can bring long-lasting success, manufacturing is a great pathway. Manufacturing offers job stability and respect, and employers are willing to pay for great employees.

2. Great Salary and Benefit Packages.

Despite popular belief, manufacturing careers are extremely valued, and compensation underscores this sentiment. In 2021, as reported 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.

And benefits have only improved for manufacturing workers. Deloitte reports that average earnings for manufacturing workers increased 4% between Q1 FY2021 and Q1 FY2022.

In 2022, as the Connecticut Manufacturing Report identified, the average manufacturing compensation in Connecticut was $101,136 per year.

3. Flexibility at Work.

When you think of a manufacturing job, it’s easy to assume that you’d be stuck in a factory all day, every day, from 9am to 5pm. However, this is not always the case! In a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), almost half – 46.8% – of manufacturing executives revealed that their company offered very flexible scheduling options to production workers. Flexible scheduling options came in the form of remote work opportunities, compressed workweeks, and the ability to swap or split shifts.

4. Cutting-Edge Technology.

Manufacturing facilities are getting “smarter,” which means that employees have a lot more to look forward to. With a push for advanced and efficient processes, manufacturers are now embracing cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, data analytics, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing machinery, and other digital tools.

These technologies are not meant to replace manufacturing workers, but rather make the manufacturing industry an even more exciting, efficient, and innovative place to work. If you desire to be on the forefront of change and have a passion for technology, manufacturing is the place to be. More than 80% of manufacturing executives believe that smart factory solutions will transform production in the next five years, and a large percentage have already taken strides towards this way of work. With implementation of digital technologies, manufacturers have seen reduced costs, increased efficiency, greater safety and sustainability, and higher product quality. Manufacturing employees have also enjoyed more intricate, advanced, and multi-dimensional jobs that go beyond the traditional factory role.

5. Exciting and Diverse Specializations.

From CNC Machining to mechatronics and MIG welding, the manufacturing industry has a variety of exciting sectors that you can pursue in your career. The best path for you will depend on your interests, talents, and professional goals. However, one of the biggest pros of working in manufacturing is the fact that these options always exist. You may start your career as a machinist, and later break into a career as a repair technician, quality controller, or production manager. Different training programs can prepare you for different areas or specializations in manufacturing.

In a sought-after industry catering to various interests, advanced manufacturing professionals can also look forward to career advancement opportunities, with the likelihood of promotion into leadership and management positions being more than favorable.


Are you ready to become a sought-after manufacturing professional? Explore Goodwin University variety of advanced manufacturing certificate and degree programs to discover which is the right fit for your career goals!


Common Misconceptions & The Cons of Manufacturing Jobs

The common “cons” of working in manufacturing are often misconceptions. Manufacturing has a reputation for being a labor-intensive profession that requires a lot of strength and skill. It is thought to be full of unsafe, strenuous jobs in dark factory settings.

While it’s true that workers must be skilled and well-trained (which requires some time in school), manufacturing offers a variety of career opportunities that go beyond the factory. Not all manufacturing jobs require physical strength, and most jobs are carried out with safety and compliance standards.

Below we explore some of the commonly discussed cons of working in manufacturing, and dispel some myths related to each.

The Con: Manufacturing Training and Education is Recommended.

The Pro: Most training programs are short-term, taking just months to complete.

While there are no hard-and-fast requirements for launching a manufacturing career, employers do prefer candidates with some education or experience under their belts. As cited by the ACTE in January 2023, 48% of manufacturing jobs in Connecticut require technical skills education. However, only 38% of workers are currently trained at that level.

Because manufacturing workers must be technically savvy and familiar with industry technologies, training is a standard expectation among employers. Candidates with training and education are typically prioritized and hired over those without. As such, most candidates will obtain postsecondary certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and more. This is considered a slight drawback for a select few.

The good news is that these programs typically are low-commitment, taking a matter of months to complete. For example, there are manufacturing certificate options and credentialing programs that can be completed in less than 12 months; with some requiring just a few semesters in school. Career-focused institutions like Goodwin University design manufacturing programs to develop the skills that employers are looking for, setting students up for success right after graduation.

Examples of manufacturing programs offered at the certificate, associate, and bachelor’s levels at Goodwin University include:

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.

The Con: Manufacturing Careers are Not One-Size-Fits-All.

The Pro: There are several specialties within the manufacturing field!

Gone are the days when anyone could be hired to work in a manufacturing factory. Today, manufacturing careers require more than strength. Employers are seeking:

  • Creative, critical thinkers
  • Hands-on problem solvers
  • Tech-savvy strategists, and
  • Workers with organized, technical, and operational mindsets

So, while the manufacturing industry is not a one-size-fits-all, one-stop-shop for job seekers, it can appeal to a variety of candidates. Manufacturing offers exciting careers that support different talents, whether you wish to work with computer-aided machinery, design blueprints, manage production teams, work in customer service, or check the quality of manufactured goods.

Do You Have a Future Working in Manufacturing?

Manufacturing is not what it once was. There are many pros of working in manufacturing that far surpass the cons. As explained on the Department of Defense website, “Advanced manufacturing is changing the nature of manufacturing — creating new, technically advanced and higher-paying positions. Today’s factories are safe, bright, energetic technology hubs operated and managed by capable, educated individuals — a stark contrast to the depiction of the noisy and dark factories of the past.”

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.

Are you ready to prepare for a profession you love? Discover how you can make a difference in advanced manufacturing today!