It’s no secret that the U.S. manufacturing industry is facing a skilled labor shortage. According to a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, “The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing: 2015 and beyond”, over the next decade 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be available, yet 2 million of those career positions will remain unfilled.

The current talent shortage, also known as the “skills gap”, will continue. It will only get worse as retirement and technological advancements escalate the crisis. This gap is affecting businesses in the areas of productivity, customer service, expansion, and innovation, to name a few.

So why should you pursue a career in the manufacturing industry?

Manufacturing Jobs Are Plentiful

Right now, there are more jobs available in the manufacturing and metal fabrication industries than there are qualified applicants. According to the Deloitte study mentioned above, 22% of skilled workers in the manufacturing industry will be retiring over the next ten years. As a result, that means 2.7 million highly-skilled, experienced employees are walking out the door. These are positions that can only be filled by skilled labor with the technical aptitude to work in the manufacturing facilities of tomorrow.

Get to Work Sooner

Many jobs in the manufacturing sector require skills that can be acquired in just 2 years of post high-school education or training. That means you can get out of school and get to work sooner, with less incurred student loan debt as you start to earn. Finding jobs may also be easier for students pursuing applicable fields of study, since manufacturing companies are more frequently partnering with community colleges and technical programs to fill these positions.

High Demand Means Better Pay

Did you know that 80% of manufacturing companies are willing to pay more than the market rate to fill these positions with skilled workers? The national average manufacturing salary, according to, is $40,472. While entry level positions may start at around $13 per hour, the higher your level of skills or training, the higher your pay rate can be. Expert mold-makers, for example, can earn more than $30 an hour.

Manufacturing Careers Stimulate the US Economy

For every one manufacturing job that is filled, another 2.5 new jobs are created in local goods and services. Manufacturing represents 11% of our national GDP, and 9% of employment in the US. Our industry is a significant player in the worldwide economy as well; as of last year, the US accounted for 30% of all global manufacturing by value, while China only accounted for 10%.

Get Paid To Do Something You Love

Manufacturing careers are hands-on, creative, and rewarding. Manufacturers are passionate about making things; seeing the fruits of your labor on a regular basis is its own reward. Our industry is one that provides daily challenges, a sense of accomplishment, and competitive salaries.

Can the average job-seeker fill these open positions and solve this labor shortage? The answer is no, not without the proper skills. It takes specialized training and education to have a successful career in manufacturing. The good news is, students wanting to attend a technical school or community college can acquire the skills that it takes to be successful, and do so in a shorter time than four years. The best part is that scholarships specifically for manufacturing students are available to help offset the cost of college. Check out our scholarships page, or click the link below to start your application today.

Apply Now for Spring 2018!

Scholarship applications are being accepted
now through Sept. 30


Source: The Foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.

News, Workforce / Skills Gap