Career Resources

Career Resources

3 Hot Manufacturing Careers

Posted October 15, 2013 & filed under Uncategorized

3 Hot Manufacturing Careers

A rebounding economy has led to an increase in hiring in the manufacturing industry. Employers, however, maintain that an inherent skills gap is keeping their facilities short on staff. As many industries rely on skilled metalworkers, these manufacturing careers are great places to start if you are looking for success in the industry.


Skilled welders are often consulted to repair flaws in metal objects and structures and thus are essential to a large variety of industries including aerospace, defense, shipbuilding, construction, and automotive. It is precision work for a very detail-oriented person who also possesses solid strength, stamina, dexterity, and flawless hand-eye coordination.

A number of community colleges and vocational schools across the country offer programs in welding, and some businesses are even willing to accept apprentices to learn the craft. The most important skill to acquire is a certification through the American Welding Society (AWS), but the ability to read mechanical drawings and blueprints is a huge plus to employers as well.

Tool and Die Making

When it comes to the metalworking trades, tool and die makers are in the top rungs of the industry. Manufacturing facilities look to these professionals to fabricate tools, machines, and precision parts with little to no supervision.

A thorough understanding of basic mathematics as well as computer drafting (such as AutoCAD) are essential to making it in this career path. While apprenticeships are available it is more common to attend a vocational school to learn the trade. Courses in Electrostatic Discharge Machining (EDM) and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Programming are the most important but hands-on experience in a shop will be invaluable to your success.

CNC Machining

CNC Machinists set up and operate the CNC machines that are imperative to the operations of the metalworking industry. CNC machinists must have quick critical thinking skills to solve problems on the fly. The ability to multitask is also necessary as they will simultaneously be monitoring, cleaning, and repairing multiple machines on a facility floor at any given time.

An associate’s degree or certificate in CNC machining is a must to enter the field, and potential candidates may also want to think about gaining experience in the field through various lab courses that are offered at community colleges and vocational schools. From there, a certification from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) is a must. The institute also offers multiple levels of credentialing that will measure your competencies throughout apprenticeship programs.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of Bekathwia via Flickr