The manufacturing industry employs more than three million people in the UK alone, and in many parts of the world manufacturing is a major economic sector. Some areas of manufacturing, notably heavy steel and ship building, have been in decline for many years. Other sectors such as food and drink, aerospace, and the chemical industry, are growing, so there is plenty of scope for career development. So what can you expect if you want a career in manufacturing?
Essential Skills for a Career in Manufacturing
Manufacturing is such a wide ranging career choice that there is no one skillset needed. People who end up in manufacturing are often blessed with practical, problem solving skills, but in other areas you may need to be particularly good at math and science. Creativity is also important, as is lateral thinking, so whatever your talents, it is likely that there will be a niche within manufacturing that suits your skillset. You' ll also need to have care for health and safety regulations, and understand the importance of welding equipment from places like https://www.weldingoutfitter.com in your line of work.
Working in Manufacturing
Manufacturing is a varied sector and the type of environment you end up working in will depend on the industry you go into. Heavy industrial manufacturing takes place in large plants, but if you go into advanced manufacturing you are more likely to be working in high-tech factories full of the latest technology.
Popular Manufacturing Sectors
Food and drink manufacturing is one of the biggest employers and there are hundreds of thousands of jobs on offer within this industry. Unlike other areas of manufacturing, for example the food and drink sector, were not affected by the global economic recession.
There are plenty of jobs available in computer and electronic product manufacturing. Fabricated metal products and machinery manufacturing also have good employment prospects. Other areas such as transportation manufacturing have experienced heavy losses in the post-recession era and are unlikely to return to their previous employment levels.
Popular Manufacturing Career Paths
- Engineering and technology is inextricably linked to manufacturing and there is a big crossover between the two areas, so you could start off in one and easily end up working in a related career.
- Production workers are involved in making the actual products, so if you want a hands-on career, this is the path to take.
- Operations managers are in charge of manufacturing plants, but to be a successful manager you need to have grass roots experience and a good knowledge of the manufacturing industry.
- Logistics and distribution workers operate behind the scene to move manufactured goods from A to B. Usually companies hire a third party logistics services company to perform this job.
Wages in Manufacturing
Skilled manufacturing workers are always in demand, so if you are working for a company manufacturing welding supplies you can expect to earn a higher than average wage. Some areas of manufacturing pay more than others and jobs within the computer product and chemical sector tend to offer the highest wages.
You donâ€™t need to be degree educated for a career in manufacturing and there are plenty of opportunities for people to work their way up from the shop floor. However, if you aspire to a job in management, or a more specialist field, a degree is advisable.