Top 5 Careers in Manufacturing

During manufacturing, raw materials get transformed into finished, usable goods. Manufacturing jobs include careers that let you work with your hands to create products, work in warehouses or plants, or work as an engineer or manager.

Learn more about the top manufacturing or warehouse jobs and what you need to do to land one of them.

1. Welders

Welders play an essential role in manufacturing. They join pieces of metal together to help build cars, trucks, planes, and equipment people use throughout their daily lives. Welders earn a median annual salary of $47,100, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

If you’re interested in becoming a welder, you can enroll in a career certificate program that will teach you the different welding methods and prepare you to pass the Certified Welder exam. Another option is to participate in an apprenticeship program, which lets you begin to work as a welder while learning the skill you’ll need to succeed.

2. CNC Machinists

Machinists work with tools and dies that produce parts and components. CNC machinists work with computer numeric control (CNC) machines that allow them to create precision parts from metal or plastic. The machinist programs the CNC machine and the computer takes over the rest.

CNC machining is generally more precise and accurate than manual machining, so there are more opportunities for CNC machinists today than manual machinists. The median annual salary for machinists, according to the BLS, is $47,730.

You can get on the path toward a career as a machinist by enrolling in a career certificate program.

3. Manufacturing Engineers

A manufacturing engineer, or industrial engineer, figures out the best way to produce a product. They find ways to eliminate waste and increase productivity.

Industrial engineering jobs typically aren’t entry-level positions. They usually require a four-year degree and years of experience. You may be able to land a job as an industrial engineer without a degree, after years of working in the manufacturing industry.

The median annual manufacturing engineer salary is $95,300, according to the BLS.

4. Carpenters

You may associate carpenters with the construction industry, but many work in manufacturing, too. A carpenter may build furniture, equipment, and other structures, including bridges and highways. While they often work with wood, they use other materials, too.

The median annual salary for carpenters is $48,260, per the BLS. Most carpenters prepare for their careers by enrolling in an apprenticeship program. During an apprenticeship, which may last for several years, they work in the field while completing classroom instruction.

5. Major Appliance Technicians

Appliance technicians focus on repairing major home appliances, from refrigerators to washing machines. Some may focus on repairing or installing heating and cooling systems. As residential appliances become more complex and “smart,” appliance technicians need more training and need to stay up-to-date on the latest advances.

You can take one of two paths to become an appliance technician. Option one is to enroll in a career certificate program, then take and pass a certification exam. Option two is to become an apprentice, learning the skills you need while working on the job.

The median annual salary for HVAC and appliance repair technicians is $48,630.

How to Get Started With a Manufacturing Career

The careers mentioned above are just a few of the most in-demand and high-paying options in the manufacturing industry. Many others are available, including working as a packer in a warehouse, a forklift operator, or a plant manager.

If a career in manufacturing appeals to you, talk to the admissions staff at Orange Technical College to learn more about enrolling in either an apprenticeship or career certificate program.