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.

manufacturing careers top states

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.

Visit our website or call us today to receive your free quote (888) 833-8776.


Industrial Controls

Controls systems are designed to control and monitor progress through a process, assembly or conveyor. But when a controls engineer visits your facility, some terminology can be difficult to understand amongst the large range of services that many industrial companies provide. Here is a small breakdown of some of the most common controls terms.

HMI Screen

A Human-Machine Interface (HMI) is a user interface or dashboard that connects a person to a machine, system, or device. While the term can technically be applied to any screen that allows a user to interact with a device, HMI is most commonly used in the context of an industrial process.


Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are small industrial computers with modular components designed to automate customized control processes. PLCs are often used in factories and industrial plants to control motors, pumps, lights, fans, circuit breakers and other machinery. (PLCs) communicate using one of several possible open or proprietary protocols, such as Ether Net/IP, Modbus, Sinec H1, Profibus, CAN open, Device Net or FOUNDATION Fieldbus. The idea to use standard Ethernet makes these systems more interoperable.

PLC Software

PLC Software is a software technology designed to turn an embedded computer into a fully functional and programmable logic controller (PLC). It combines PLCs’ discrete, PID and analog I/O control with high performing computer networking, data handling and computational capabilities. As such, software PLCs offer dependable operation, exceptionally fast and deterministic program scan durations, data table memory, unlimited user programs, and above all, an open architecture platform that allows users to connect to a wide range of I/O systems and networks among other devices.


RFID Systems

Radio-frequency identification uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information.


DeviceNet is a digital, multi-drop network that connects and serves as a communication network between industrial controllers and I/O devices, providing users with a cost-effective network to distribute and manage simple devices throughout the architecture. DeviceNet utilizes CAN (Controller Area Network) for its data link layer, the same network technology used in automotive vehicles for communication between smart devices.

Controller Area Network (CAN)

A Controller Area Network (CAN) bus is a communication system made for vehicle intercommunication. This bus allows many microcontrollers and different types of devices to communicate with each other in real time and without a host computer. A CAN bus, unlike Ethernet, does not require any addressing schemes, as the nodes of the network use unique identifiers. This provides the nodes with information regarding the priority and the urgency of the transmitted message. These buses also continue transmission even in the case of a collision, while normal Ethernet terminates connections as soon as a collision is detected. It is a completely message-based protocol and is used mainly in vehicles.

Industrial Controls

Lee Contracting’s controls and robotics staff engineers have over 30 years of experience in the field. They have extensive knowledge of legacy systems and a comprehensive knowledge of many applications. In addition to supporting and upgrading older systems, we are fully up-to-date on the newest hardware and software platforms from all the major PLC suppliers. With our complete controls and robotics capabilities, Lee can handle the full programming of automations systems including all necessary design, development and engineering.

Call today to receive a free quote, 888.833.8776.


What Happens in Michigan

Since the late 1800’s, Michigan has been known for manufacturing and innovation. In the early 20th century, the entire future of Michigan’s economy and the future of manufacturing would completely change. In 1913 Henry Ford created the modern-day moving assembly line which took raw materials to a finished product with speed and efficiency. The moving assembly line reduced chassis assembly in one year – from 12.5 hours to only 93 minutes. In 1928 the construction of the Ford River Rouge Plant was completed. It was the largest integrated factory complex in the world, employing 100,000 people. As of November 2018, Michigan employs 623,800 individuals in the manufacturing sector. From automotive, appliances, bioscience, machinery, medical devices, plastics, metals, tool and die, furniture and food processing, Michigan remains in the top 5 manufacturing states in the United States.


Notable facts about the current manufacturing climate in Michigan include:

  • Manufacturers contributed $2.18 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2016
  • Total manufacturing output in Michigan in 2015 was $92.55 billion
  • Michigan manufacturers exported $52.05 billion in goods in 2016
  • The average wage and benefits in manufacturing are 27.4% higher than the average of all industries
  • Over the past 25 years, U.S.-manufactured goods exports have quadrupled
  • Manufacturers pay $19,564 per employee on average to comply with federal regulations, or 95.8% higher than the average cost across all businesses
  • According to the Department of Treasury, manufacturing employs over 9% of the total U.S. workforce, yet is responsible for 60% of exports and 69% of R&D spending
  • Manufacturers in Michigan account for 19% of the state GDP — sixth highest in the nation
  • Michigan’s 9.3% drop in unemployment since June 2009 is the largest improvement of any state
  • Employment in Michigan’s manufacturing sector has increased by more than 175,600 jobs since June 2009 — an increase of 40.6 percent in eight years
  • Michigan accounts for 22% of all U.S. auto-related jobs
  • For every one worker in manufacturing, there are another four employees hired elsewhere


The future of manufacturing in Michigan is not going to slow down any time soon.

  • Over the next decade, nearly 3½ million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap
  • Engineering is just one example of the high skill level required for many advanced manufacturing careers — 40% of all engineers in Michigan are employed by a manufacturer
Controls & Robotics
  • Women represent approximately 25% of manufacturers in Michigan


From Henry Ford’s vision of the assembly line to robots and artificial intelligence, Michigan is a hub of innovative manufacturing.


Lee Contracting’s in-house trades can service your manufacturing needs. Our skilled tradesmen are experienced in plant optimization to reduce downtime. No matter what your facility manufacturers, we can get the job done.

Call us today to receive your free quote (888) 833-8776 or visit our website.

*Statistics about Michigan Manufacturing come from the Michigan Manufacturers Association,