There are a lot of misconceptions about the state of manufacturing and employment in the manufacturing field. It’s no doubt that these misconceptions are hurting the industry and are part of the reason for the growing skills gap. As a contractor to many manufacturers, we are here to help dismiss some of these wrong impressions.
Misconception #1 Manufacturing jobs don’t pay well
Many people believe that manufacturing jobs only pay $7-$22 per hour. However, according to the Manufacturing Institute, as of 2014, many manufacturing employers pay about $33.93 per hour in wages and benefits. Compare that to what non-manufacturing employers pay per hour, an average of $31.15 per hour.
Misconception #2 Manufacturing jobs are tough to find
By 2022 manufacturers will need to fill 2.2 million jobs. The new generation of workers have not been persuaded to the benefits of a manufacturing or skilled trades job. This is helping to create a skills gap for manufacturers as older workers start to retire and there isn’t anyone to fill these open positions.
Misconception #3 Manufacturing jobs aren’t challenging
While the image of repetitive work comes to mind for many people when they think of manufacturing, only 20 percent of manufacturing positions are unskilled. The rest of the jobs are considered skilled or highly skilled. Many of these jobs are engineering positions.
Misconceptions #4 Manufacturing is an old industry
While there are still manufacturing facilities that are slow to adopt new technology, many facilities are embracing new technology. 3-D printing, green innovations and advanced pharmaceuticals are just some of the new technologies aiding the manufacturing industry.
Misconception #5 Manufacturing is declining
According to Dan Ikenson of the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, manufacturing in the United States never left. He says, “Year after year, every year (with the exception of formal economic recessions), the U.S. manufacturing sector has set new records with respect to output, value added, revenues, exports, imports, and frequently sets new records for profits and returns on investment.”
While many people think manufacturing is a dying industry, the reality is just the opposite. A career in the manufacturing field has a lot of positives including good pay and benefits. With the average hourly pay of nearly $34 dollars an hour, manufacturing jobs remain a great career choice for many people.