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Why Choose a Career in Manufacturing?

There are many good things to say about manufacturers. They are the backbone of the innovation economy and do most of the nation's Research and Development. They employ many skilled workers, from engineers and programmers to technicians and logistics managers. They are a major source of employment.

Scot Forge Infographic - Why Choose Manufacturing

However, according to a study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the gap between the talent manufactures need to keep growing their businesses and the talent they can actually find.

A large cause of this is a lack in knowledge and understanding about what a career in manufacturing actually looks like. The stereotype over the years has been that work is monotonous and factories are dark, dirty and dangerous places. The truth is that manufacturing plants are very technologically advanced places and a lot of the work that is manufactured is highly mechanized.

Unlike many other industries that only provide jobs, manufacturing provides careers. The thing that educators, administrators and staff need to understand is that not all students are bound for college and a four-year degree. There are alternatives where someone can earn a good living wage without straddling themselves with debt. There are many intelligent individuals that struggle with traditional high school learning and test taking. They are more visual learners and tend to be mechanically inclined. Careers such as a machinist, a tool & die maker or a welder are critical jobs that can be very lucrative due to their high demand and students have the ability to earn a great wage and start their career right out of high school.

Research conducted by the Idaho Department of Labor found that the average bachelor’s degree in the United States costs $127,000! Not only that, but nearly 70% of students take out loans to help pay for school. According to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), the average 2016 college graduate has over $37,000 in student loan debt and an average monthly student loan repayment of over $350. Manufacturing can provide students with a bright future filled with opportunity and success. It can enhance a student’s potential to specialize in lucrative career fields, provide a clean and technical work environment, help advance the U.S. economy and offer paths to additional industry credentials. Working with high-technology equipment, being a part of an important industry, and entering into a field with opportunity instead of debt are a few benefits of choosing manufacturing.

The responsibility that educators shoulder is to not only prepare those students bound for college to be “college ready,” but they needed to emphasize “career ready” as well. Schools need to reinforce and be comfortable with the statement: “It’s OK to not get a traditional 4-year degree.” Those students who could take many paths after graduation need to learn about their options, and the schools have an obligation to provide the students with the resources necessary to develop them into productive members of the workforce and society.

Careers in manufacturing are expected to increase at a rate of of 10% over the next seven years according the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and range from assembly and fabrication to computer programming, sales and more. Some manufacturing jobs require certifications and some require degrees, but all are equally important. Whether an individual wants a hands-on job in manufacturing or is interested in the behind-the-scenes logistics, there are vast opportunities within the manufacturing sectors —specific industry knowledge can help them pursue many possibilities. Many of the skills learned are applicable to other jobs in the broad manufacturing field. This can make it easier to find jobs and provides more opportunities for career advancement.

Skills and courses that are useful for a career in manufacturing include:

  • Math for technicians
  • Safety
  • Hand tools
  • Electrical systems
  • Blueprint reading
  • Power tools
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Measurement and quality control
  • Pneumatics
  • Hydraulics
  • Sensor technology
  • Robotics
  • Material handling
  • Computer integrated manufacturing

Earn While You Learn

Manufacturing is a highly technical trade that provides higher-than-average wages and benefits for employees. At Scot Forge, we offer our employees up to $5,000 a year to cover all costs of pre-approved undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degree level programs if they wish to pursue a higher-education degree. We also pay for any pre-approved courses and non-degree certificate programs in any field related to an employee’s career. As a continuously improving company, we encourage all employees to improve their skills on a regular basis. So, we offer enriching employment opportunities through a variety of formal internship and student learner programs, registered apprenticeships and job shadowing. Additionally, we bring in professors from local colleges to make learning more convenient. On top of that, we feel it’s important to reward our employees for their time commitment with an added bonus for those who complete 40 hours or more of educational study per year. Choose to work in this ever-changing, ever-growing industry. Choose a career in manufacturing.

Scot Forge Infographic - Top 12 Facts about Manufacturing