Do you have dreams of working on the cutting-edge of manufacturing, and helping to advance the industry through technology? Or, do you picture yourself in a hands-on career, on the frontlines of innovation? Perhaps you picture yourself on the business side of the industry, leading manufacturing companies to new heights. Or, maybe you are still trying to determine which type of manufacturing is calling you.
There are many moving pieces of manufacturing, and many processes that go into the success of the industry. No matter which pathway you pursue in manufacturing, you can rest assured you are entering a creative, lucrative, and highly-valued career. To help inspire your next step, Goodwin has compiled a list of the most popular types of manufacturing specializations our students pursue.
1. CNC Machining
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is a type of manufacturing process that utilizes computerized systems to control machinery and produce custom parts and designs. CNC machines are programmed to automatically operate and create materials – such as metal, plastic, wood, glass, and composite – from stock pieces. CNC machinists oversee the setup, operation, and overall production of these machines.
In the modern manufacturing industry, CNC machining is critical. It has added a new level of precision and speed to the production process and is therefore utilized in nearly all manufacturing settings today. As a result, CNC machining skills are desired among job candidates, and many receive CNC machinist training before launching a manufacturing career. Those who pursue CNC machining work on the cutting-edge of the manufacturing industry, and enjoy a technological, creative, and hands-on career.
2. Quality Management
Quality management is a sector of manufacturing that helps to ensure products are consistent, to spec, and meet set, quality standards. Within quality management, there are workers who specialize in quality planning, quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement, each with their own set of job responsibilities. Overall, their main goal is to ensure consumers receive high-quality goods, and that the company was efficient throughout the manufacturing process.
Quality management is another essential element of manufacturing. Without it, we would not have the high-quality goods and services that we do today. Our economy would not be as strong as it is today. We rely on quality assurance managers, quality control inspectors, quality auditors and analysts to set the standards for manufacturing – and to assure production meets those standards, too. However, it takes dedicated training to succeed in this field. A quality management degree is a great step for those just getting started in manufacturing and looking to make an impact.
3. Supply Chain and Logistics
The “supply chain” is a principal component of manufacturing that links together multiple processes to facilitate the transformation of materials into finished products. Logistics is a subset of the supply chain that refers to the transportation, storage, and flow of supply (or, goods). It ensures goods reach retailers and consumers from their point of origin. Those who work in logistics may earn multiple job titles, including a Logistician who manages a company’s supply chain. One may also become a logistics analyst, helping streamline a company’s operations, or a logistics technician, controlling its inventory.
Logistics, and the supply chain as a whole, are essential elements of manufacturing in that they keep the wheels turning, the production moving, and the goods flowing into the right hands. Therefore, logistics professionals are needed in all corners of manufacturing today.
Another essential type of manufacturing process is production itself. Production refers to the creation of goods, turning them from raw materials into final products. Production technicians, those who work in this sector, work on the frontlines of manufacturing to prepare, assemble, and test products.
It is recommended that those looking to work in production become certified. A Certified Production Technician (CPT) certificate will ensure you have knowledge and experience in current safety practices, quality measurement, production processes, and general maintenance. The CPT credential can also position technicians for higher pay.
Welding is a different, yet exciting type of manufacturing process that involves binding materials together through the application of heat. Specifically, welders join metals or thermoplastics together by using heat to melt and fuse the parts. This process is utilized at all stretches of manufacturing, making it a highly important field. Welding is used to join pipes, to fix cars, to build stairways, and even to create roadways and bridges. If you are seeking a career that is creative and hands-on, welding is a great path.
Aspiring welders should pursue training in order to gain experience in the field. A welding training school takes a matter of months to complete and can provide you with essential knowledge in thermal cutting, shielded metal arc welding, flux core arc welding, and other key techniques.
Like CNC machining, mechatronics is another type of advanced manufacturing that has set new standards in the industry. Mechatronics is dedicated to designing more intelligent, streamlined, and automated processes in manufacturing. It combines mechanics and electronics to create solutions to previously time-consuming and difficult manufacturing tasks. Those who specialize in mechatronics help to design, operate, test, and maintain electromechanical systems that are implemented to improve manufacturing. These professionals are the ones taking manufacturing to new heights.
To specialize in mechatronics, one should consider pursuing a certification program that allows them to gain hands-on experience and knowledge of the field. A certificate training program can provide the mechanical, electrical, robotic, and software skills needed to pursue a mechatronics career.
On top of all the hard workers who contribute to the manufacturing and production process, there are also dedicated managers who oversee departments and companies. Manufacturing management, in the broadest sense, is a career path that involves directing manufacturing processes, overseeing manufacturing workers, measuring performance, and ensuring manufacturing goals are met. However, there are different types of manufacturing managers, including first-line supervisors, production planners, QA managers, safety supervisors, and inventory managers, to name a few. You can explore even more career possibilities here.
Most manufacturing management positions require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as the bachelor’s in Manufacturing Management at Goodwin University.
Which Manufacturing Pathway is Right for You?
Now that you understand the different types of manufacturing programs and career paths you can pursue, the question is: Which one is right for you? Which pathway aligns most with your interests, your skillsets, and your career goals? As you develop an interest in manufacturing and explore the different options, you can always contact a manufacturing school for guidance.
The admissions team at Goodwin University can help you explore your options, discuss your interests, and develop a curriculum that aligns with your professional goals. If you would like to take that next step, call Goodwin at 800-889-3282. You may also request more information online here.