If you’re interested in beginning or advancing your career in manufacturing, the job picture is promising, as 34 percent of global employers report difficulty filling open positions due to a shortage of qualified talent.
Approximately 10 million manufacturing jobs worldwide are vacant, according to the World Economic Forum. Among the areas of greatest vacancy are engineering and the skilled trades.
Today’s manufacturers need to innovate at an accelerated pace in order to stay ahead of their competition. This opens the door to opportunities in research and development, quality control and product testing. The World Economic Forum noted that companies considered more innovative grew their net income at twice the pace of their “non-innovative counterparts” between 2006 and 2010.
Manufacturing Moves Back to the U.S.
Recent years have seen a shift in manufacturing operations back to the United States from overseas, a movement termed “on-shoring.” In a recent survey of more than 200 manufacturers across multiple industries, more than half said they were planning to return some production to the U.S. – up from 37 percent in 2012.
And while last year, only 10 percent had actually begun the on-shoring process, this year’s total more than doubled, to 21 percent. Reasons for on-shoring included:
- Competitive labor rates
- Proximity to customers
- Product quality
- Skilled labor
- Transportation costs
Currently, manufacturing supports approximately 17.2 million positions in the U.S. – or one-sixth of all private sector jobs. And, manufacturing performs two-thirds of the nation’s private-sector research and development.
What it Takes to Land a Manufacturing Job
A career in manufacturing calls for a combination of sharp technical skills and the ability to think quickly, creatively and strategically. Valuable skills include:
- Technical expertise: A strong baseline of technical ability is a good foundation for a manufacturing career. For instance, employers need candidates who can work with spreadsheets, interpret Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings, and navigate data bases for reporting purposes.
- Information technology: Manufacturers have become high-tech enterprises. If you have a combination of industry knowledge and IT skills, you’re looking at ample career possibilities.
- Management abilities: Being able to motivate teams and deliver products according to business plans is a tremendous asset. Capitalize on your management skills in your resume and cover letter – and explain how you have successfully built a team and executed a value-added project.
- Creativity: From the ability to problem solve to product and systems/supply chain innovation, creative thinking skills are in high demand. Again, use your resume, cover letter and interview to tell a compelling story of a solution that you creatively engineered – and the positive results.
- Foreign languages: While more operations are returning to the U.S., manufacturing will remain a strong global presence. A surefire way to differentiate yourself as a candidate is fluency in one of the languages dominant to the industry – including Chinese, Japanese or Spanish.
- Communication: Most manufacturing runs in steps, requiring employees to communicate with their counterparts on various shifts and at multiple stages along the value stream. With strong communication skills, you help your organization run more smoothly and efficiently, as ideas and fixes are easily understood and conveyed.
Interested in learning more about manufacturing job opportunities and how to become a leading candidate? Contact a career expert at Premium Staffing and ask us how partnering with us can help you land your next job!