Is a Job in Manufacturing for You?

Learn about the benefits of a career in manufacturing.

Many new graduates will be spending the upcoming summer considering their future plans. Will they continue with school? Get a job? What kind of career are they interested in? Often, it seems like the mainstream opinion promotes higher education and careers in fields like medicine, business, and technology. But the truth is, a four-year degree and an office job isn’t right for everyone. The manufacturing sector is one industry that is often overlooked by job seekers. Many people think only of assembly line jobs when they think of manufacturing. In reality, the manufacturing industry offers a variety of jobs with different skill levels and fulfilling work.


What is manufacturing?

Manufacturing is an industry where goods are produced on a large scale. This broad sector operates in many areas, including food, equipment, furniture, electronics, and more. Most jobs in manufacturing only require a high school diploma; the necessary knowledge and skills are learned on the job. Overall, considering careers in manufacturing don’t require extensive education, manufacturing jobs pay fairly well. As with any industry, there are different salaries depending on a specific position.


What sorts of jobs are available in manufacturing?

Many people who work in manufacturing are attracted to the tangible aspect of the work. They like seeing how things are made and being a part of that process. If that sounds appealing to you, there are hundreds of different careers in the industry. Some include:

  • Engineers – Engineers work to streamline production processes to ensure that operations run efficiently. They ensure safety, train workers, and oversee processes.
  • Machinists – There will be an increase in machinist jobs in the future. Machinists are responsible for operating tools and heavy equipment that perform essential functions in production. On average, machinists made about $20/hour. CNC Programmers and Tool and Die Makers are machinists who have high prestige and salaries among others in their industry.
  • Production – These employees are good with their hands. They work to assemble units of a product, meeting production and quality goals.
  • Quality Control – Someone who works in quality control monitors operations to make sure all standards are being met. This includes inspecting or testing processes and products, and making adjustments to improve production. This field is expected to grow by 6-7% by 2022.


Why should I work in manufacturing?

A career in manufacturing isn’t right for everyone, but people who are passionate about the field love it for many different reasons, including:

  • The Work– You get to make things! You can walk into a store and see a quality item for sale that you helped produce. For people who enjoy the concrete aspect of work, manufacturing offers great opportunities. You also get to learn new skills that are useful in other areas outside of work.
  • Flexibility – Many manufacturing facilities run different shifts, so while you can choose a position where you work the standard eight hours a day, you can also choose to work nontraditional hours. This is great for people who have other demands during the day, and need a different schedule.
  • Pay and Benefits – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The median annual wage for all workers in manufacturing was $37,690 in May 2013, higher than the $35,080 median annual wage for all workers.”
  • Education – Careers in manufacturing are available for people at all education levels. The field offers a variety of entry-level opportunities, but also has positions that utilize further training and degree programs.


Still not sure if manufacturing is right for you? Penmac has several opportunities for temps, which is a great way to try out a field to see if it is something you enjoy. We also have long-term and temp-to-hire positions for those people who are already passionate about the industry. Click here to see what jobs are currently available.