The manufacturing industry is one of the largest and most influential sectors of the United States economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 12.3M people employed in the Manufacturing Industry Sub-Sector in 2016 with a 1.17% year growth. It also accounts for a similarly large piece of the American workforce — the industry employs 8.7 percent of the country, making it the third-largest industry in terms of jobs.
But what is it like for the millions of people who actually work in the industry? The truth is, it's pretty fantastic. Here are some reasons why:
1. Contributing To The Economy
The manufacturing industry helps support the global and national economies, as well as individuals and families.
Research shows that manufacturing is ranked among the most important industries in maintaining a strong U.S. economy and eight in 10 Americans believe U.S. manufacturing is important to maintain Americans' standard of living.
Research also shows that manufacturing has the highest multiplier effect of any other major sector. In fact, every dollar spent in manufacturing contributes another $1.81 to the economy, allowing the industry to add nearly $2.2 trillion to the U.S. economy.
Clearly, manufacturing is having a big impact on jobs, livelihoods and the economy. That’s something to be proud of.
2. On The Cutting Edge
We’ve talked about this at length before, but manufacturing has always been on the cutting edge of technology. 3D printing, drones, and the Internet of Things are just the latest examples of manufacturing companies adopting new technology long before the public gets their hands on it. And, for all the tech heads in the industry, that is the best reason to get up and go to work each day. It’s good to be ahead of the curve.
3. Exciting Sectors Of Work
For some, relaying details about their jobs may be met with disinterest and boredom. But that’s not the case for those in manufacturing who can regale friends about developments in aerospace, share the latest in food manufacturing with families over Thanksgiving dinner, or tell neighbors about the newest pharmaceuticals they are processing. With so much excitement within the industry, you’ll have plenty of awesome information to share with those outside of it.
4. It’s Totally Safe
A huge myth the industry has been fighting for decades is how unsafe manufacturing is. And for a long time, it absolutely was a high risk career path plagued by chemicals, machines, and other hazards. But we’ve come a long way. Robots are making our jobs safer, and technology like the Internet of Things and automation keeps us out of harm's way. We are working smarter, and safer, than ever before.
5. Fruits Of Your Labor
One of the great benefits to working in this industry is the fact that you are often working on real, tangible products. Manufacturing affects almost everything in our lives. Whether working on every day items you can buy at the store or huge set pieces for the next great Netflix movie, you can point to something and get the very satisfying pleasure of saying “I made that.” When you work in the industrial sector, you can actually see the outcome of your work in a tangible object.
6. Room To Grow
Once you choose a sector to go into, there are plenty of options for your career path. From fabrication and welding to research and distribution, the possibilities seem endless. And as the baby boomer generation begins to retire, leadership opportunities will be available for the next generation of manufacturers to take the reigns. Manufacturing jobs offer a ton of entry level positions. Most companies offer on-site job training, which is perfect for recent graduates or those looking for a complete change from their day-to-day, so there is always room to grow and advance your career.
According to data providing by the U.S. Census Bureau, this map below shows the highest wage by location in the manufacturing industry.
7. More Than An Assembly Line
Manufacturing covers a variety of industries and jobs within the manufacturing sector for those from other disciplines, such as sales and business development, marketing, human resources, and many others. These positions afford all of the benefits of working in manufacturing — the pride, stability, competitive salaries, excitement, great technology and others — to people from many different backgrounds. Not every industry can boast of the same potential and flexibility.
Get Started With A Career In Manufacturing
Looking to start a career in the industrial sector? Learn how to land your dream job in the industrial sector with these 4 steps. Now is the perfect time for your next career move. The manufacturing national workforce is projected to grow 8.13% in the next ten years. It's an employee market right now and businesses are competing for better talent than ever before. For more manufacturing career advice, check out our Career & Workforce Insights page.
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