Not your father’s factory work – modern manufacturing careers may surprise you!
If you’re like most Americans today, you’ve never worked in manufacturing and probably don’t know anyone working in a modern manufacturing facility. But if you take a closer look at Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Manufacturing, you’ll be surprised!
The industry has changed dramatically over the last decade or so. You might expect to find old stereotypes about drudgery, low pay and job insecurity associated with “factory work.” But the truth is, modern manufacturing can offer a range of advantages, including solid salaries and benefits, opportunities to advance, flexible schedules and clean, comfortable working environments.
Five ways modern manufacturing is being redefined
One – career opportunities. The number of U.S. jobs is increasing. An estimated 3.5 million more are slated to open domestically between 2015 and 2025 due to economic expansion and baby boomer retirements, particularly in construction manufacturing.
Two – the return of “made in America.” The U.S. and China now top the world in manufacturing output, out-producing both Germany and Japan. U.S. manufacturing workers were recently found to be almost six times as productive as Chinese workers and 1.5 times as productive as Japanese and German workers, according to Ro Khanna in the Washington Post.
Three – a promising salary outlook. Manufacturing wages rose 60 percent between 1996 and 2016, says Jacob Bogage in the Washington Post, never declining year-over-year during that time. The U.S. Labor Department recently placed millwrights, industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers on a list of “10 good jobs that don’t require a[n advanced] degree.”
Four – challenging, interesting work. Modern manufacturing jobs are far from mindlessly repetitive. In fact, robotics now handle many repetitive tasks, leaving open jobs requiring more planning and creative problem-solving. “The best manufacturing workers are thinking about how to improve a product’s design or production,” explains Khanna.
Five – “not your father’s factory.” Production areas in today’s factories are almost uniformly clean, comfortable, well-lit and ergonomically adjusted. This is partly because they’re subject to even stricter safety and environmental regulations than in the past.
“This sector is booming with opportunities for talented, aspiring professionals,” writes Tim Lawrence in U.S. News & World Report. “We need to shatter manufacturing myths and strengthen opportunities in manufacturing education.”
Lincoln Tech offers hands-on training for careers in modern manufacturing. Industry leader Haas Automation supports the program and sponsors on-campus Haas Technical Education Centers (HTECs) in Mahwah, NJ; Indianapolis, IN; and Grand Prairie, TX. If you’re looking for an exciting, challenging career that helps build America, start manufacturing skills for a better future at Lincoln Tech!