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Careers in Manufacturing

Manufacturing Worker

Have you considered a career in manufacturing?

Most careers in manufacturing are better paid than similar careers in other industries. Some have very easy-to-meet entry requirements. Others require a college degree or more.

While manufacturing was hit hard by the 2009 economic recession, this industry still represents 11 percent of all jobs in the state. That's more than 300,000 positions. The highest numbers of manufacturing jobs in the state were in:

  • Computer and electronic products
  • Fabricated metal products
  • Food manufacturing
  • Machinery manufacturing

Apparel, leather products, and transportation manufacturing have seen the most employment losses since 2006. These industries lost roughly half their jobs. While the losses are slowing, these industries are not expected to return to 2006 employment levels.

The long-term outlook for manufacturing shows challenges, but also growth in some places like chemical and miscellaneous manufacturing. Manufacturing jobs that earn the highest weekly wages are found in the chemical and computer product industries where workers earn about $1,400 per week. On average, manufacturing workers are paid $1,000 per week. That is still nearly $200 more than the average Minnesotan worker.

Which manufacturing career is right for you? There are options in several broad areas, covering a range of skill and education levels.

Engineering and Technology
Engineers and technicians design and build things. They are critical in all kinds of manufacturing, especially at the earliest stages when products and processes are being created and refined. These jobs require technical skills and knowledge, attention to detail, and creativity.

Production workers in manufacturing make the actual products that businesses sell. These hands-on careers are at the heart of manufacturing.

Logistics and Distribution
Logistics and distribution workers move goods to where they need to be. Or they plan and coordinate this movement. They often work behind the scenes to get products to the right place at the right time.

Maintenance, Installation, and Repair
Installers and repairers keep the manufacturing industry operating smoothly. Workers install, inspect, test, and repair electrical or mechanical equipment.

Business, Management, and Administration
A wide variety of other workers are needed in manufacturing. This may include customer service representatives, accountants, sales people, and more. These occupations often require knowledge related to manufacturing, but use skills that are not specific to the industry.

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development