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The Definitive Guide To Working in The Manufacturing Industry In 2022 (USA)

The USA manufacturing industry is one of the most important industries in the country. It employs millions of people and creates products that are essential to the economy. The industry is constantly changing, and new technologies and processes are being developed all the time. If you're thinking about a career in manufacturing, this guide will give you an overview of what to expect. You'll learn about the most common job titles, salaries, and outlook for the future of manufacturing in the USA.

Table of content:

Chapter 1. Overview of employment in the manufacturing industry in the USA.

Chapter 2. Reasons to work in manufacturing.

Chapter 3. Most common job titles in manufacturing and their descriptions.

Chapter 4. Salaries in manufacturing in the USA.

Chapter 5. Outlook for the manufacturing industry.

Chapter 6. Tips how to get a job in manufacturing.

Chapter 1. Overview of employment in the manufacturing industry in the USA.

The United States manufacturing sector is critical to the economy and employs millions of American workers. The industry has seen a resurgence in recent years with the rise of advanced manufacturing technologies and an increase in domestic energy production.

The manufacturing sector employed more than 12.2 million workers in 2021, down from a peak of 19 million in 1979 but up from a low of 11 million in 2010, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Manufacturing jobs are often high-paying, offering wage premiums compared to other sectors. An average manufacturing worker earned $31,001 per year in 2021, according to BLS data. And while automation has reduced the need for some factory jobs, it has also created new opportunities for highly skilled workers using sophisticated equipment and software.

Manufacturing jobs in Lakeland, FL
Contrib123456, CC BY-SA 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The vast majority of manufacturing establishments are small businesses, defined as those employing fewer than 500 workers. In fact, small manufacturers make up 97 percent of all firms in the industry and employ 42 percent of its workforce, according to NAM data.

Despite its importance to the economy, manufacturing employment has been on a long-term decline since 1970 as a result of automation and competition from lower-cost foreign producers. Between 2000 and 2010 alone, about 5 million manufacturing jobs were lost due primarily to these factors.

Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Chapter 2. Reasons to work in manufacturing.

There are many reasons to work in the manufacturing industry, and here are six of them:

1. Variety of job options.

The manufacturing sector offers a variety of job options, from hands-on production roles to engineering and management positions. There's something for everyone in manufacturing.

2. Good pay and benefits.

Manufacturing jobs tend to be well-paying, and many companies offer good benefits packages. In some cases, working in manufacturing can lead to a lucrative career path with opportunities for advancement.

3. Pride in workmanship.

There's a certain satisfaction that comes from creating something tangible - whether it's a widget or a car or a piece of medical equipment. Working in manufacturing allows you to take pride in your workmanship and know that you're contributing to something larger than yourself.

4. High-tech environment.

Contrary to popular belief, today's manufacturing environments are often high-tech places filled with computers, robots, and other cutting-edge technology. If you like working with technology, you'll find plenty of opportunities in this sector.

5 . Opportunities for creativity.

Even though manufactured products have to meet certain specifications, there's still room for creativity in the design process. If you have ideas for how things could be made better or more efficiently, working in manufacturing gives you the chance to put those ideas into practice.

6. Sense of community.

Many people who work in manufacturing feel a strong sense of community both within their workplace and within the larger industry itself . There's a mutual respect among workers, and an understanding that we all play an important role in keeping the wheels of commerce turning.

Chapter 3. Most common job titles in manufacturing and their descriptions.

1. Manufacturing Assembler.

As a manufacturing assembler, you will be responsible for putting together products from individual parts. This can involve anything from electronic devices to furniture to automobiles. You will use your manual dexterity and problem-solving skills to figure out how the pieces fit together, and then put them together using various tools. In some cases, you may have to do basic testing of the product before it is sent off for further assembly or packaging.

2. Manufacturing Technician.

A manufacturing technician is responsible for setting up, operating and maintaining machines that are used in the production process. This can include everything from lathes and drill presses to welding equipment and computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines. You will need to be able to read blueprints and follow instructions carefully in order to set up the machines correctly and produce quality products. In addition, you will need to perform regular maintenance on the equipment in order to keep it running smoothly.

3. Quality Control Inspector.

As a quality control inspector, you will be responsible for ensuring that products meet certain standards of quality before they are shipped out. This involves inspecting products visually or using various measuring instruments, such as calipers or micrometers. If you find defects in the product, you will need to report them so that they can be fixed before the product is sent out. In some cases, you may also be responsible for testing products to see if they meet certain performance standards.

4. Production Planner.

A production planner is responsible for creating schedules that dictate when each step in the production process should take place. This includes everything from ordering raw materials to scheduling machine time to arranging for shipment of finished products. In order to create an effective schedule, you must have a good understanding of both the production process and the capabilities of the machines involved. You must also be able to work well under pressure and handle last-minute changes without disrupting the overall schedule too much.

5: Materials Handler.

A materials handler is responsible for moving raw materials and finished products around a factory floor or warehouse facility. This can involve anything from loading trucks with finished products for shipment to moving pallets of raw materials closer to where they will be needed in production

Chapter 4. Salaries in manufacturing in USA.

In the United States, the average salary for a manufacturing worker is $31,001 per year. However, this varies greatly depending on experience, education, and location. For example, a production worker in New York City will earn an average salary of $43,610 per year, while someone with the same job title in rural North Carolina will only make $27,750 annually.

The highest-paying state for manufacturing workers is California, where the annual mean wage is $52,040. Other states where manufacturing salaries are above the national average include Washington ($48,330), Oregon ($46,660), Massachusetts ($44,980), and Alaska ($44,490).

On the other hand, some states have significantly lower wages for this occupation. Mississippi has the lowest annual mean wage for manufacturing workers at just $29,180 followed by Arkansas ($30,210), Louisiana ($30,340), Alabama ($30,350), and West Virginia ($30,720).

There are also substantial differences in pay based on experience level and education attainment. In general, those with more experience or higher levels of education will earn higher salaries. For example, a production supervisor in California with 5-9 years of experience can expect to make an average salary of $62,170 whereas someone just starting out in their career would only make around $35,790 annually.

Similarly, a production manager with a bachelor's degree can expect to earn $105,370 while someone without a college degree would only make an average of $68,560 yearly.

There are many factors that contribute to variation in manufacturing salaries across different states and regions within the United States. Cost of living is one important factor to consider as it affects how far your income will go.

For instance, although California has high wages overall, the cost of living there is also much higher than most other states, so you may not actually have more purchasing power than someone earning a lower salary elsewhere.

Geography is another important consideration as certain areas have concentrations of specific industries which can impact earnings (e.g. being near Silicon Valley may increase your chances and pay - if you work in tech.)

Additionally, some parts of the country simply have more jobs available in general so competition for these positions may be lower leading to higher wages. Overall, manufacturing salaries vary widely throughout America but tend to be highest on coasts and lowest in southern/rural areas.

Source: PayScale

Chapter 5. Outlook for the manufacturing industry.

Outlook for the manufacturing industry is strong. America has a highly skilled workforce, and a large number of manufacturers are located here. Additionally, many manufacturers are looking to expand their operations in the United States due to the country's pro-business environment.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), manufacturing output in the United States increased by 4.6 percent in 2017. This is higher than the overall economic growth rate of 2.3 percent for the same period.

National Association of Manufacturers also reports that there are more than 12 million people employed in the manufacturing sector in the United States. This is about 8 percent of the total workforce in the country.

There are several reasons why the outlook for manufacturing in the USA is positive:

  • The country has a highly skilled workforce: According to data from OECD, around 30 percent of Americans aged 25-64 have completed tertiary education, which is higher than most other developed countries. Additionally, many American workers have experience working with advanced technologies and machinery - making them attractive employees for manufacturers looking to set up or expand operations here.
  • The United States has a large number of manufacturers: There are 638,583 manufacturing establishments across America - meaning that there's already a significant infrastructure and ecosystem in place for new businesses to tap into. (2022, Ibisworld)
  • Many manufacturers are looking to expand their operations in America: In recent years there's been an increase in foreign companies investing and setting up shop within US borders; this trend looks likely to continue as firms seek out access to America's huge consumer market as well as its business-friendly environment.



Chapter 6. Tips how to get a job in manufacturing.

The manufacturing industry in the United States is a vital sector of the economy, responsible for supporting millions of jobs. The sector has been hit hard in recent years by automation and outsourcing, but there are still plenty of opportunities for those looking to enter the field. Here are five tips on how to get a job in manufacturing:

1) Develop a strong skill set.

In order to be competitive in today's manufacturing landscape, it is important to have a well-rounded skillset. This can be accomplished through formal education, on-the-job training, or other professional development opportunities. Demonstrating proficiency in areas such as production planning, quality control, and lean principles will make you more attractive to potential employers.

2) Consider certification.

Many manufacturers are now requiring employees to obtain certain certifications before being hired. While not always required, having credentials from organizations like the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) or American Welding Society (AWS) can give you a leg up in the hiring process.

3) Network.

Getting your foot in the door of any company often comes down to who you know. Attend industry events and connect with professionals on LinkedIn to expand your network and increase your visibility within the manufacturing community.

4) Be flexible.

With so many changes taking place within the industry, employers increasingly value employees who are adaptable and willing to learn new skills. If you're open to relocating or working different shifts, you'll have a better chance at landing a job that meets your needs.

5) Have patience.

The current state of the manufacturing industry means that it may take some time to find the right opportunity. Stay positive and keep networking - eventually you will find an organization that is a good fit for your skillset and career goals.