Five Things You Didn’t Know About Manufacturing Jobs

By Glenn Richardson
Managing Director - Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace & Aviation

Advanced Manufacturing in Ohio

Advanced manufacturing is one of the key industries driving innovation and job creation in Ohio. The Buckeye State has a rich legacy as a manufacturing hub, and not only has the third-largest American manufacturing workforce, but is considered the best state for manufacturing jobs east of the Mississippi River. Nevertheless, many have an outdated perception of what exactly manufacturing in the 21st Century means.

Here are some facts that might surprise you about a career in today’s manufacturing sector.

  1. You will make a good living. Plenty of manufacturing jobs start out between $40,000 and $60,000 annually, and it’s not uncommon for workers to work their way toward six figures per year with overtime. CNBC reported in June that hourly compensation for manufacturing jobs is 17 percent higher than in other industries and that the average U.S. manufacturing worker earned more than $77,000 a year – with good benefits.
  2. You can stay clean. The image of a manufacturing laborer covered in sweat and grease is an antiquated one. The digital world has transformed manufacturing into a high-tech, knowledge-based industry in which a keyboard is used more often than a power drill. In fact, at Honda, one of Ohio’s top manufacturing and automotive employers, all the associates wear white uniforms. Why? Because if any of those uniforms are dirty, floor managers know something’s not working properly.
  3. Jobs are available. New technologies, materials and manufacturing processes have led to a resurgence in Ohio manufacturing, creating new opportunities for employment. A report released in February by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute declared that 3.4 million new U.S. manufacturing positions will need to be filled in the next decade.
  4. Skills are a must. The manufacturing industry is working hard to attract smart young people with skills in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – to fill those jobs. Ro Khanna, a former deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce wrote in the Washington Post, “If you think of manufacturing as a tedious job with no intellectual stimulation, you haven’t visited a U.S. factory floor lately. Whether making steel bars or suits for firefighters, many of today’s manufacturing jobs require the ability to operate complex machines, math skills and an understanding of how to maximize efficiency.”
  5. Manufacturing is cool. How many industries afford you the opportunity to play with robots for a living? The new technologies we are seeing in advanced manufacturing have changed the way we make things. 3D printing allows us to create physical products directly from digital files, no tools or fixtures required. – like Robert Downey Jr. building his new Iron Man suit. Ohio institutions like America Makes and Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow are blazing a new path in manufacturing, leading to new innovations and great careers.