It might be surprising to note, but the U.S. is expecting to see a significant demand for manufacturing workers in the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 264,000 job openings in the manufacturing industry in March of 2014. While employment in manufacturing is projected to decline in the next 10 years, a significant portion of the current workforce is getting ready to retire, creating a sharp and immediate demand to fill existing positions across the country. Demand for skilled workers means there will be jobs available in the coming years, and it also means that employers are willing to pay top dollar for industry talent.
So while there is clearly demand for professionals in this field, it still has a disappointing reputation. That might be because many people consider a job in manufacturing to be just that, a “job”. But if you reframe the work and focus on growth within the industry, you can really make the most out of this career. Here’s how.
Land the Necessary Skills
As with most employees within an industrial setting, strong communication, mathematical, organizational, and problem-solving skills are critical. Manufacturing employees should have good eye-hand coordination and possess a strong understanding of mechanical and engineering concepts. They should be a detail-oriented individual with the ability to meet deadlines and organize and oversee teams.
Additionally, employers look for strong candidates with the skills needed to create maintenance schedules for plant equipment. They need someone to determine the tools and supplies needed for each type of machine they oversee. Employers also need help managing spare parts for various machines. They are also required to estimate costs of labor and parts for industrial equipment. Advanced candidates in this line of work also understand basic financial concepts, such as estimating and budgeting, as well as have advanced knowledge of Microsoft applications, such as Excel.
Be Future Facing
Changes in technology have transformed the manufacturing and assembly process. Modern manufacturing systems use robots, computers, programmable motion-control devices, and various sensing technologies. These technological changes affect the way in which goods are made and the jobs of those who make them. Advanced assemblers must be able to work with these new technologies and use them to manufacture goods.
Soft Skills Matter
Every job you apply for will have an element of communication involved. Whether it’s between yourself and your coworkers, your clients, or your supervisors, you need to tell stakeholders what is going on, and what you need or expect from them. Both written and verbal communication are important so make sure to emphasize your abilities in both. The modern manufacturing industry is no different and requires clear and concise communication to ensure partners are all on the same page.
Digital communication skills are also key. A good understanding of email, mobile devices, and how they can be effectively used within the manufacturing environment. If you are not familiar with the applicability of the latest communication strategies, it’s a great idea to reach out to manufacturers for insight or even a networking opportunity.
Embrace Continued Education
Some employers can provide ongoing education opportunities to employees, but not all have that luxury. Sometimes, extra professional development incentives need to come from experience, industry trends, and everyday learning opportunities. While it can be great, not everyone can go back to college for a traditional degree. It could be in-house training in new software programs or new tools and devices that will take your workflow into the modern, digital age.
Safety and on-the-job health training is also a great investment. Make sure you pick training programs that will measurably serve your career. But always try to learn what’s driving business decisions in your industry so that when change does come, you’re not left behind with the other outdated programs.
For more tips on manufacturing jobs hiring in Lebanon, TN, connect with the team at All-Star Personnel today.