A new survey conducted this spring highlights the advantages and opportunities that exist in a typically overlooked industry, manufacturing. Representatives from manufacturing companies throughout the United States drew back the curtain and gave a glimpse into everything from education requirements to typical starting salaries.
But first, a quick lay of the land. Recently, there have been massive layoffs in the tech and finance industries, leaving Americans shocked and in need of work. National student debt has reached the trillions. Yet despite the fact that Americans are looking for jobs, manufacturers are struggling to fill positions. This traces back to a long-held disconnect between the perception of a bleak manufacturing career, and the reality of a promising career with high earning potential.
A Welcome Change for Entry Requirements, Earning Potential & Benefits
Compared to other industries, the entry requirements for manufacturing are relatively low, yet the potential for long-term growth and advancement is incredibly high. 80% of respondents shared that their companies require only a high school diploma or less for entry-level positions. The reason for lower entry-level requirements is because manufacturers are willing to train, prioritizing ambition and an eagerness to learn over existing technical skills. 68% of the manufacturers surveyed do not require any prior experience for new hires in entry-level roles. Starting salaries covered a wide range, with some manufacturers listing starting salaries as high as $76,000-$100,000 for entry-level positions.
There is also no shortage of employee benefits. 90% of respondents offer medical insurance and 86% offer dental. Other benefits include prescription coverage, generous 401K programs, a health savings account (HSA), class or educational loans, company events, incentive pay, specialty training and more. Manufacturers place a high value on employee retention and promoting from within, resulting in outstanding benefits packages and immense growth opportunities for employees.
Job Security to the Max
Whether the economy is thriving or declining, manufacturing does not slow down. It is the fuel of the economy, offering a level of job security and stability that few other industries can match, if any. 93% of the manufacturers surveyed report growth, 91% are currently hiring and 22% have more than 10 current job openings. The current amount of openings and opportunities put candidates in the driver’s seat, allowing them to pursue areas within manufacturing that align with their interests such as food, aerospace, pharmaceutical, automotive and more.
Slowly but surely, the advantages that exist in manufacturing are outshining misconceptions that have plagued the industry in the past. The perception of old factory floors has been replaced with the reality: clean, modern facilities utilizing some of the most advanced technology and automation systems in the world. Employees enjoy a more active lifestyle than office workers, making manufacturing an ideal choice for anyone who doesn’t want to work at a desk. The industry has also become much more inclusive across the board. When asked about the various initiatives their companies are taking to attract a more diverse workforce, the respondents referenced everything from women-in-trades initiatives to working with community colleges to revamping their facilities with new computers and technology.
The Future Is Bright—and the Door Is Open
Choosing one’s career is not something that happens overnight. But in the process of weighing different options, it is important to separate fact from fiction. Manufacturing might not offer the hype of being a social media influencer, or the prestige of being a doctor. But it also doesn’t come with a dependence on temporary trends that will inevitably fade, or the money and time required for medical school. For those interested in hitting the ground running and choosing a career where newcomers are welcomed, paid a respectable starting salary and given every opportunity to advance and grow, manufacturing certainly fits the mold.
Check out this infographic for even more data on the recent survey conducted by Aviate Creative.
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