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For years in this country, manufacturing jobs were considered low-paying, uninteresting, repetitive, and “dirty.” Although this characterization has never been true, that has been the public’s and our education system’s overall perception.
In recent years that perception has changed. We are once again realizing the important role manufacturing plays in all facets of our society by providing worthwhile employment and interesting jobs critical not only to our well-being but to our national security. Manufacturing companies are being recognized as clean and bright, with a focus on manufacturing efficiencies, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability.
Our education system is now emphasizing STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), and most states have initiatives in STEM with offerings in technical training. The message is clear: Manufacturing is important. Manufacturers create jobs that are challenging, team-oriented, and focused on many cool-precision technologies. Their development and growth are essential to our nation’s security and success.
These jobs are often interesting and innovative, varying from robotics and machining to nanotechnology. They affect all phases of our current and future economy. Their development is necessary, as we compete in the global marketplace. Manufacturing transforms ideas into products for the present and future. It improves lives for everyone.
Below are some things to consider in regard to pursuing a career in manufacturing. The statistics noted below are drawn from the state of Colorado and from Colorado’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry, but they are reflective of the labor situation nationwide. Our country is in dire need of trained and qualified labor.
State of Colorado Manufacturing Statistics
- Manufacturing provides jobs for more than 145,000 people in Colorado.
- Over 16,000 advanced manufacturing jobs go unfilled each year.
- The average yearly manufacturing salary is $72,000 ($27,000 more than other industries).
- There are more than 5,900 manufacturing companies in Colorado.
Manufacturing Industry Job Types
- Electrical & Mechanical Maintenance Technicians ̶ $25,000-83,000
- Engineering / R&D ̶ $31,000-156,000
- Logistics & Supply Chain ̶ $20,000-125,000
- Machinist Operator / Programmer ̶ $25,000-62,000
- Production & Assembly ̶ $25,000-83,000
- Quality Assurance / Control ̶ $37,000-124,000
- Sales ̶ $20,000-125,000
- Welder / Solderer ̶ $31,000-104,000
What Manufacturing Employers Care About
Most successful manufacturers use a sustainable business approach based on creating long-term customer and employee value.
Manufacturing companies are doing their part to make the world a better place through environmentally friendly policies and by thinking about every dimension of how the business operates in social, cultural, and economic environments. They invest in their people, technology, infrastructure, and communities as they build their businesses.
Manufacturers are dedicated to improving processes like the elimination of waste by using clean and green strategies. Lean manufacturing processes are used to achieve lower levels of waste, water, and energy usage.
Manufacturing Employers, Employees Are Good for Communities
From caring about their employees to caring about the environment, manufacturing companies have a large, positive impact. They provide:
- Livable and/or outstanding wages
- Retirement benefits at a rate of 3 out of 4 manufacturing employers
- Education opportunities (in-house, supplemental advance training, or college)
- Healthcare programs (most manufacturing employers).
Healthy manufacturing companies provide a strong economic base for their communities and for the entire nation. They produce products that are used locally, nationally, and globally. They not only provide jobs for families, but they also add to the overall economic strength of our economy.
Image Credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com
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