Women in Manufacturing: New Technology, New Opportunities
NOTE: This post was updated on July 19, 2019 to reflect updated job projections, labor statistics and program availability.
With U.S. manufacturing facing a significant labor shortage, women in manufacturing are being recruited more diligently than ever. Industry leaders across the country will need to fill 145,000 computerized manufacturing jobs by 2026* due to economic expansion and the retirement of baby boomers. The shortage is spurring many employers to step up their game in trying to hire women in manufacturing. Women – who make up almost half the nation’s workforce but only a quarter of the manufacturing workforce** – are being recruited for almost all aspects of the field.
What’s behind the manufacturing gender gap?
It's clear there's a need for more women in the field, but why the disparity? Some of it is perception. A lack of exposure to modern manufacturing environments has hindered interest among women (and among the nation’s population overall). “Factory work” may still be the image many people have when they think of manufacturing facilities, but today’s computerized equipment has transformed these workplaces into cleaner, safer, brighter working environments.
There may be other myths in play here as well:
- “Wages are low” - In 2017 the national median annual salary for computerized manufacturing workers was a little over $50,000. Even entry-level hourly rates, which averaged $16.17 per hour, were well above the federal minimum wage.
- “Skills aren’t optimized” - Today’s workers specialize in everything from chemistry to computer programming to logistics strategy.
- “Advancement isn’t offered” - In fact, most employers seek workers who wish to learn new skills and grow with their companies. Women in manufacturing professions may find themselves moving quickly into management roles.
- “Most jobs are going overseas” - Thanks in part to advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining equipment from manufacturers like Haas Automation, the productivity of American workers is keeping the U.S. in the game. Manufacturers have become nimble enough to offer customized products, superior design and shorter production times than in the past, helping bring “made in America” back to the forefront.
For women looking for a fresh, exciting new career path, modern manufacturing may be just the ticket. Lincoln Tech’s training programs in East Windsor, CT; Grand Prairie, TX; Indianapolis, IN; and Mahwah, NJ can help you build hands-on experience and connect you with hiring managers from a broad range of industries. Put your potential to work and become part of the American manufacturing revival!
* Career growth projections can be found at careeronestop.org for the years 2016-2026.
** Source: www.dol.gov
*** Salary information is based on entry-level, median, and high-end salary information collected for the year 2017 and can be found at www.careeronestop.org.