While many manufacturing jobs are being outsourced overseas, the manufacturing industry is still seeking skilled employees in the United States. The automotive, retail, food, cosmetic, textile, paper, and technology sectors are just a few in which manufacturing positions need to be filled. Manufacturing jobs are located in factories, plants, and mills, but also in the laboratory, where research and development happens. Plants make big news when they announce new facilities in small towns and large cities, all of which opens more opportunity for entry-level, managerial, and executive positions in the world of manufacturing.
Sample manufacturing jobs and salaries (according to May 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics data) include:
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. These manufacturing workers may use precision measuring instruments and complex test equipment. Median annual salary: $34,040.
Machinists: Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Precision instrument makers may also fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments or fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures. Median annual salary: $39,220.
Production worker helpers: Assist production workers by performing low-skill duties such as supplying or holding materials or tools and cleaning work area and equipment. Median annual salary: $22,520.
Purchasing agents: Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment, and purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing. Median annual salary: $57,580.
Team assemblers: Work as part of a team that has 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 of them rather than being assigned to a specific task on a permanent basis. Team assemblers may also be team leaders who work as part of the team and participate in making management decisions affecting the job. Median annual salary: $27,490.