Manufacturing Careers

There are currently over 12.82 million manufacturing skilled workers in the United States. Over the next decade, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2.4 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap. According to a recent report, the lack of qualified talent could take a significant bite out of economic growth, potentially costing as much as $454 billion from manufacturing GDP in 2028 alone. Between now and 2028, a persistent skills shortage could cost $2.5 trillion in reduced output. (Source: Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute)

The benefits of working in manufacturing are endless. Higher average salary, health benefits, low cost education and training are only a few positives of manufacturing positions. In 2017, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $84,832 annually, including pay and benefits. The average worker in all nonfarm industries earned $66,847. Looking specifically at wages, the average manufacturing worker earned more than $27 per hour, according to the latest figures, not including benefits. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Below is a list from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a guide to some of the types of jobs that are in manufacturing:

  • Assemblers and Fabricators
  • Food Processing Operators
  • Machinists and Tool and Die
  • Metal and Plastic Machine Workers
  • Painting and Coating Workers
  • Power Plant Operators
  • Quality Control
  • Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers
  • Woodworkers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes what these jobs are like, how much education or training is needed and the salary level. It also will tell you what it’s like to work in the occupation, how many positions there are and whether it’s a growing field.

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Another benefit of working in manufacturing is eligibility for health insurance. In 2018, 92% of manufacturing employees were eligible for health insurance. This is a significant difference from the average 79% of employees that are eligible for all firms.

With the large amount of benefits and job availability, pursuing a career in manufacturing provides job stability.

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