Manufacturing jobs are available – good ones, in fact. But what does it take to land one? Do you need to have a degree or specialized training before you can get hired? Maybe, but not necessarily.
Manufacturing has changed and continues to change. It’s much more high tech than it was in decades past. Meaning, most manufacturing jobs are no longer unskilled positions that any able-bodied worker can fill. Most require some kind of vocational training, an associate’s degree, or other certification that can take some time to acquire. But these skilled workers – welders, electricians, metalworkers, press operators, and machinists – enjoy strong job security and decent pay.
That’s not to say that prior training is an absolute requirement. Many companies, including ours, work on the philosophy of hiring for attitude and aptitude rather than experience. If you have the right work ethic and the ability to learn, you can acquire the skills and knowledge you need through an on-the-job training program.
Rick Newman of Yahoo! Finance writes about six things required to get a good manufacturing job today. Can you guess the top two? Ability to pass a drug test and twelfth grade math and English capability. Sounds simple, but Newman found that these requirements eliminate about half of all applicants for manufacturing jobs.
More and more workers are investing in technical training as an alternative to a four-year degree. While there is some investment in time and tuition, it’s much less than that required for a typical college program. You will get to work faster and eliminate the potential of debt due to large student loans. This is where industry awareness comes in to play. For decades, parents and school counselors have been directing students to four-year colleges as the only way to get a well-paying job. This attitude is changing but there is a long way to go.
So it seems that the old adage holds true…there are always good jobs for good workers. You just have to look in the right place.