Manufacturing Careers

Manufacturing Careers

Manufacturing covers, as a group of careers, any job that is involved in the fabrication and processing of materials into commercial products. All careers related to the planning, production, producing, and design of end products are included in manufacturing. The manufacturing industry as a whole is slightly different than the manufacturing career group, as manufacturing as a skill set can apply to diverse industries such as agriculture, automotive, and high technology. Simply put, people in manufacturing make things.

Jobs in direct manufacturing include line workers, assembly positions, laborers, operations managers, quality professionals, design engineers, systems analysts, supply chain specialists, costing and financial operations roles, and maintainance personnel.
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Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend bonding machines that use adhesives to join items for further processing or to form a completed product. Processes include joining veneer sheets into plywood; gluing paper; or joining rubber and...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assemblers
Assemble, fit, fasten, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Biofuels Processing Technicians
Calculate, measure, load, mix, and process refined feedstock with additives in fermentation or reaction process vessels and monitor production process. Perform, and keep records of, plant maintenance, repairs, and...
Biomass Plant Technicians
Control and monitor biomass plant activities and perform maintenance as needed.
Boilermakers
Construct, assemble, maintain, and repair stationary steam boilers and boiler house auxiliaries. Align structures or plate sections to assemble boiler frame tanks or vats, following blueprints. Work involves use of hand...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters
Cut, shape, and assemble wooden articles or set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.
Most have some college
Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend equipment to control chemical changes or reactions in the processing of industrial or consumer products. Equipment used includes devulcanizers, steam-jacketed kettles, and reactor vessels.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Chemical Plant and System Operators
Control or operate entire chemical processes or system of machines.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Equipment Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend machines to wash or clean products, such as barrels or kegs, glass items, tin plate, food, pulp, coal, plastic, or rubber, to remove impurities.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines to coat or paint any of a wide variety of products, including glassware, cloth, ceramics, metal, plastic, paper, or wood, with lacquer, silver, copper, rubber, varnish, glaze, enamel,...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers
Wind wire coils used in electrical components, such as resistors and transformers, and in electrical equipment and instruments, such as field cores, bobbins, armature cores, electrical motors, generators, and control...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Coin, Vending, and Amusement Machine Servicers and Repairers
Install, service, adjust, or repair coin, vending, or amusement machines including video games, juke boxes, pinball machines, or slot machines.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic
Develop programs to control machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree
Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers
Repair, maintain, or install computers, word processing systems, automated teller machines, and electronic office machines, such as duplicating and fax machines.
Most have some college
Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Cooling and Freezing Equipment Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend equipment, such as cooling and freezing units, refrigerators, batch freezers, and freezing tunnels, to cool or freeze products, food, blood plasma, and chemicals.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines to crush, grind, or polish materials, such as coal, glass, grain, stone, food, or rubber.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Cutters and Trimmers, Hand
Use hand tools or hand-held power tools to cut and trim a variety of manufactured items, such as carpet, fabric, stone, glass, or rubber.
Most have a vocational certificate
Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend drilling machines to drill, bore, ream, mill, or countersink metal or plastic work pieces.
Most have a vocational certificate
Electric Motor, Power Tool, and Related Repairers
Repair, maintain, or install electric motors, wiring, or switches.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers
Assemble or modify electrical or electronic equipment, such as computers, test equipment telemetering systems, electric motors, and batteries.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment
Repair, test, adjust, or install electronic equipment, such as industrial controls, transmitters, and antennas.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree
Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers
Assemble or modify electromechanical equipment or devices, such as servomechanisms, gyros, dynamometers, magnetic drums, tape drives, brakes, control linkage, actuators, and appliances.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers and Repairers
Repair, adjust, or install audio or television receivers, stereo systems, camcorders, video systems, or other electronic home entertainment equipment.
Most have a vocational certificate
Engine and Other Machine Assemblers
Construct, assemble, or rebuild machines, such as engines, turbines, and similar equipment used in such industries as construction, extraction, textiles, and paper manufacturing.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Etchers and Engravers
Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend machines to extrude or draw thermoplastic or metal materials into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Extruding and Forming Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Synthetic and Glass Fibers
Set up, operate, or tend machines that extrude and form continuous filaments from synthetic materials, such as liquid polymer, rayon, and fiberglass.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines, such as glass forming machines, plodder machines, and tuber machines, to shape and form products, such as glassware, food, rubber, soap, brick, tile, clay, wax, tobacco, or cosmetics.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers
Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.
Most have a vocational certificate
Fabric Menders, Except Garment
Repair tears, holes, and other defects in fabrics, such as draperies, linens, parachutes, and tents.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Fiberglass Laminators and Fabricators
Laminate layers of fiberglass on molds to form boat decks and hulls, bodies for golf carts, automobiles, or other products.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers
Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of mechanics, installers, and repairers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers
Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend forging machines to taper, shape, or form metal or plastic parts.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Foundry Mold and Coremakers
Make or form wax or sand cores or molds used in the production of metal castings in foundries.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend heating equipment other than basic metal, plastic, or food processing equipment. Includes activities, such as annealing glass, drying lumber, curing rubber, removing moisture from materials, or boiling...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Furniture Finishers
Shape, finish, and refinish damaged, worn, or used furniture or new high-grade furniture to specified color or finish.
Most have less than a high school diploma
Gem and Diamond Workers
Fabricate, finish, or evaluate the quality of gems and diamonds used in jewelry or industrial tools.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Glass Blowers, Molders, Benders, and Finishers
Shape molten glass according to patterns.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand
Grind, sand, or polish, using hand tools or hand-held power tools, a variety of metal, wood, stone, clay, plastic, or glass objects. Includes chippers, buffers, and finishers.
Most have less than a high school diploma
Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, anneal, or heat-treat metal or plastic...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Helpers--Production Workers
Help production workers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Hydroelectric Plant Technicians
Monitor and control activities associated with hydropower generation. Operate plant equipment, such as turbines, pumps, valves, gates, fans, electric control boards, and battery banks. Monitor equipment operation and...
Industrial Engineering Technicians
Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May perform time and motion studies on worker operations in a...
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree
Industrial Machinery Mechanics
Repair, install, adjust, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems.
Most have a vocational certificate
Industrial Production Managers
Plan, direct, or coordinate the work activities and resources necessary for manufacturing products in accordance with cost, quality, and quantity specifications.
Most have a bachelor's degree
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
Inspect, test, sort, sample, or weigh nonagricultural raw materials or processed, machined, fabricated, or assembled parts or products for defects, wear, and deviations from specifications. May use precision measuring...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Jewelers
Fabricate and repair jewelry articles. Make models or molds to create jewelry items.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers
Design, fabricate, adjust, repair, or appraise jewelry, gold, silver, other precious metals, or gems. Includes diamond polishers and gem cutters, and persons who perform precision casting and modeling of molds, casting...
Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Layout Workers, Metal and Plastic
Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, tubes, structural shapes, castings, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Locksmiths and Safe Repairers
Repair and open locks; make keys; change locks and safe combinations; and install and repair safes.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Machine Feeders and Offbearers
Feed materials into or remove materials from machines or equipment that is automatic or tended by other workers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Machinists
Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Maintenance Workers, Machinery
Lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Manufacturing Production Technicians
Set up, test, and adjust manufacturing machinery or equipment, using any combination of electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, or computer technologies.
Most have a vocational certificate
Mechanical Engineering Technicians
Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, test, or calibrate machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Medical Appliance Technicians
Construct, fit, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.
Most have some college
Medical Equipment Repairers
Test, adjust, or repair biomedical or electromedical equipment.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree
Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Methane/Landfill Gas Generation System Technicians
Monitor, operate, and maintain landfill gas collection system components and environmental monitoring and control systems.
Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend milling or planing machines to mill, plane, shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic work pieces.
Most have a vocational certificate
Millwrights
Install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines to mix or blend materials, such as chemicals, tobacco, liquids, color pigments, or explosive ingredients.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Model Makers, Metal and Plastic
Set up and operate machines, such as lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects. Includes template makers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Model Makers, Wood
Construct full-size and scale wooden precision models of products. Includes wood jig builders and loft workers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic
Mold, shape, form, cast, or carve products such as food products, figurines, tile, pipes, and candles consisting of clay, glass, plaster, concrete, stone, or combinations of materials.
Molding and Casting Workers
Perform a variety of duties such as mixing materials, assembling mold parts, filling molds, and stacking molds to mold and cast a wide range of products.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend more than one type of cutting or forming machine tool or robot.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners
Repair percussion, stringed, reed, or wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning.
Most have a vocational certificate
Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
Operate or control nuclear reactors. Move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs. Implement emergency procedures when needed. May respond to abnormalities, determine...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine Mechanics
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, recreational sporting equipment and related equipment.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend machines to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment. Includes cannery workers who pack food products.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Painters, Transportation Equipment
Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, trucks, trains, boats, and airplanes. Includes painters in auto body repair facilities.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers
Paint, coat, or decorate articles such as furniture, glass, plateware, pottery, jewelry, toys, books, or leather.
Most have less than a high school diploma
Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend paper goods machines that perform a variety of functions, such as converting, sawing, corrugating, banding, wrapping, boxing, stitching, forming, or sealing paper or paperboard sheets into...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.
Most have a vocational certificate
Patternmakers, Wood
Plan, lay out, and construct wooden unit or sectional patterns used in forming sand molds for castings.
Most have a vocational certificate
Photonics Technicians
Build, install, test, or maintain optical or fiber optic equipment, such as lasers, lenses, or mirrors, using spectrometers, interferometers, or related equipment.
Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend plating or coating machines to coat metal or plastic products with chromium, zinc, copper, cadmium, nickel, or other metal to protect or decorate surfaces. Includes electrolytic processes.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Potters, Manufacturing
Operate production machines such as pug mill, jigger machine, or potter's wheel to process clay in manufacture of ceramic, pottery and stoneware products.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Pourers and Casters, Metal
Operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Power Distributors and Dispatchers
Coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree
Power Plant Operators
Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree
Precious Metal Workers
Cast, anneal, solder, hammer, or shape gold, silver, pewter or other metals to form jewelry or other metal items such as goblets or candlesticks.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks
Coordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within or between departments of an establishment according to production schedule. Duties include reviewing and distributing production, work, and shipment...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.
Most have a bachelor's degree
Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers
Repair, install or maintain mobile or stationary radio transmitting, broadcasting, and receiving equipment, and two-way radio communications systems used in cellular telecommunications, mobile broadband, ship-to-shore,...
Robotics Technicians
Build, install, test, or maintain robotic equipment or related automated production systems.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree
Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend machines to roll steel or plastic forming bends, beads, knurls, rolls, or plate or to flatten, temper, or reduce gauge of material.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers
Install, program, maintain, or repair security or fire alarm wiring and equipment. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Semiconductor Processors
Perform any or all of the following functions in the manufacture of electronic semiconductors: load semiconductor material into furnace; saw formed ingots into segments; load individual segment into crystal growing...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Sewers, Hand
Sew, join, reinforce, or finish, usually with needle and thread, a variety of manufactured items. Includes weavers and stitchers.
Most have less than a high school diploma
Sewing Machine Operators
Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.
Most have less than a high school diploma
Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers
Construct, decorate, or repair leather and leather-like products, such as luggage, shoes, and saddles.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Solderers and Brazers
Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Stone Cutters and Carvers, Manufacturing
Cut or carve stone according to diagrams and patterns.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Team Assemblers
Work as part of a team having responsibility for assembling an entire product or component of a product. Team assemblers can perform all tasks conducted by the team in the assembly process and rotate through all or most...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers
Install, set-up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends. Service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications...
Most have a vocational certificate
Textile Bleaching and Dyeing Machine Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend machines to bleach, shrink, wash, dye, or finish textiles or synthetic or glass fibers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines that cut textiles.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines that knit, loop, weave, or draw in textiles.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Textile Winding, Twisting, and Drawing Out Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend machines that wind or twist textiles; or draw out and combine sliver, such as wool, hemp, or synthetic fibers. Includes slubber machine and drawing frame operators.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Timing Device Assemblers and Adjusters
Perform precision assembling, adjusting, or calibrating, within narrow tolerances, of timing devices such as digital clocks or timing devices with electrical or electronic components.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Tire Builders
Operate machines to build tires.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Tool and Die Makers
Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges, and machinists' hand tools.
Most have a vocational certificate
Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners
Perform precision smoothing, sharpening, polishing, or grinding of metal objects.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Upholsterers
Make, repair, or replace upholstery for household furniture or transportation vehicles.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Watch Repairers
Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks. Includes watchmakers, watch technicians, and mechanical timepiece repairers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping
Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature. Includes workers who collect and keep record of samples of products or...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters
Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Most have less than a high school diploma
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
Use hand-welding, flame-cutting, hand soldering, or brazing equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, solder, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies. Includes workers who operate laser cutters or laser-beam...
Most have a high school diploma or GED
Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing
Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate CNC equipment.
Most have a high school diploma or GED
The manufacturing industry as a whole has had negative job growth over the past decade. Our society as a whole has moved from manufacuring goods to a service economy. "Soft" economic products, such as financial products and intellectual property have dominated in terms of job growth. Although the manufacturing sector has shrunk as a whole, it has been much more specialized and technical. Innovations in computer technology, precision manufacturing, micro-assembly, and manufacturing processes continue to shape the industry. Jobs in manufacturing have been in short supply due to both large economic trends and developments such as outsourcing and globalization, however certain groups of jobs are still in high demand. Manufacturing project management, computer design, specialized precision production, and other skills are still in high demand and well compensated. Additionally, projected shortages in talent based on current undergraduate enrollment should fuel growth in compensation.

Manufacturing as a career group has many potential areas of study. People wishing to get into manufacturing might study Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Industrial Design, or any number of technical degrees.