Manufacturing is alive and well in the United States and North America, and the field is in need of a more diversified pool of talent than ever. With things like the industrial internet of things taking off and the massive amount of data available at our fingertips, a new breed of worker who will understand these new pressures and how to use the tools to manage them will be needed. The sector will also need managers who will be able to work with all of these new talents and speak to their strengths and aspirations. Here are some of the highest paying manufacturing positions in the country.
Operations managers are essential for managing operational costs and will also have a say on hires, promotions, compensations, and benefits. In addition, they’ll also be responsible for disciplining or terminating operation support staff and overseeing day-to-day department or company operations.
This is one of the fields in manufacturing where workers report the highest satisfaction rates and operations managers there can stand to earn as much as $110,000 per year. Cities like Houston and San Francisco pay at least 15 percent more for operations managers on average.
If you want to make a career as an operations manager, one thing you could do is get a master’s in lean manufacturing. This will set you apart from other candidates who may not have the same knowledge and understanding of lean methodologies, and this will be a very vital and precious skill for the operations managers of tomorrow.
If you’re currently working, you could get your lean manufacturing degree online through a college like Kettering University. They’ll even allow you to get an MBA at the same time by adding only five courses. From then on, you’ll have almost endless options to choose from and become a strong candidate for any executive position.
IT managers are in increasing demand everywhere, but especially in manufacturing positions. They might be called to oversee IT equipment within an organization, train and hire new IT employees, as well as research new solutions to upgrade or enhance networks, servers, monitoring devices and sensors, and security.
Good IT managers have to be cool under pressure, be natural problem solvers, and be able to understand both the human and technical side of things as they’ll have to deal with professionals from different backgrounds, and sometimes very different and conflicting views of a problem.
In most cases, IT managers will need something like a master’s in computer science to fill the role, though some have been able to climb the ropes with nothing but a bachelor’s. Some of the best cities for IT managers are Boston, Washington, and San Francisco, who all pay 20 percent or more than the national average for this position.
Engineers of all types are also needed at all levels in manufacturing. Specifically, production, industrial, manufacturing and design engineers.
Design engineers, for instance, will be called to either improve or come up with design ideas for new products. Manufacturing engineers play a central role in building processes, and industrial engineers will create machine layouts or design machinery that will be able to carry them out. Production engineers are responsible for designing and planning methods to improve these processes.
As you can see, they all act in synergy and all play a crucial role in the manufacturing process. These engineers can stand to make between $64,000 and $67,580 per year on average.
Another type of engineer that is often involved in manufacturing is biomedical engineers. These people will usually help in the manufacturing of items that will be used in the healthcare field, such as prosthetics or medical equipment. They are also one of the highest paying positions by median income, with median income for biomedical engineers sitting at around $90,000.
This may not seem like the most prestigious position in manufacturing, but quality assurance employees are the last line before a particular product hits the shelves. They play a central role in the future success of that product and will have to be able to identify certain flaws with the products, with some being potentially disastrous.
Quality insurance specialists may also be called to review a company’s quality standard policies or create them. They will review and audit quality data and use their knowledge of governmental and industry quality regulations to make sure that they’re compliant. Quality insurance specialists can stand to make as much as $50,000 per year on average.
Jobs for High School Graduates
Manufacturing also has tons of great paying positions for people with a high school diploma. Others only require that you get a technical education, while others will require some form of in-house formation or apprenticeship.
Millwrights, for instance, can make as much as $54,500 per year or more. They will be responsible for installing and maintaining equipment with the use of lift trucks, hoists, power tools, and hand tools. Another job that doesn’t require as many credentials is materials planner. Materials planner will take a look at the blueprint for any particular project and will calculate the amount of material needed for its production, brands, codes, and contacting suppliers. These professionals can make as much as $54,000 per year.
If you’re looking for an intermediate job, then you could consider something like field operator. They will be called to operate, troubleshoot, or set up a wide range of equipment or machines at a client’s site using diagrams and blueprints to position, select, and secure machinery. These jobs will require that you have some formal training or an apprenticeship in addition to your high school degree.
All of these positions will be in high demand in the next coming years and offer great pay, no matter your level of education. Make sure that you give all of those a closer look and see which ones that not only speak to your wallet, but your strengths, interests, and disposition as well.
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