The manufacturing industry started adding jobs in 2010. This came as a surprise to many economy watchers who’d declared America’s manufacturing sector defunct.
Higher costs associated with labor and transporting goods are spurring some companies to move overseas production back to the U.S. “Every week we’re hearing about a new company building a plant in the United States,” said Gardner Carrick of the Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C. “We’ve seen 4 straight years of job growth in manufacturing.”
But the nature of these new manufacturing jobs has changed. There are fewer production and assembly line positions available than in the past.
Manufacturing’s Biggest Growth Industries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 19 manufacturing industries will add jobs by 2022. The top ten are:
1) Animal slaughtering and processing (+33,000 jobs)
2) Motor vehicle parts manufacturing (+27,900 jobs)
3) Machine shops (turned product; screw, nut, & bolt manufacturing) (+10,500 jobs)
4) Architectural and structural metals manufacturing (+69,000 jobs)
5) Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing (+13,000 jobs)
6) Other fabricated metal product manufacturing (+18,500 jobs)
7) Household and institutional furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturing (+5,900 jobs)
8) Other wood product manufacturing (+21,700 jobs)
9) Other food manufacturing (+3,100 jobs)
10) Motor vehicle manufacturing (+8200 jobs)
Manufacturing industries related to construction are also growing rapidly. Employment in two of these construction-related categories is expected to triple. They are: cement and concrete product manufacturing; and veneer, plywood, and engineered wood product manufacturing.
There’s good news for the architectural/structural metals manufacturing industry, too. Employment in that sector is expected to double.
In-Demand Manufacturing Jobs
Today’s in-demand manufacturing jobs often require running computers or specialized machines. This is reflected in the occupations that are expected to add the most jobs in manufacturing through 2022:
1) Industrial machinery mechanics (+21,600 jobs)
2) Metal and plastic computer-controlled machine tool operators (+19,100 jobs)
3) Machinists (+18,500 jobs)
4) Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (+16,700 jobs)
5) Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders (+9,000 jobs)
6) Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers (+7,200 jobs)
7) Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing (+6,000 jobs)
8) Metal and plastic computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers (+5,500 jobs)
9) Wood sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders (+5,300 jobs)
10) Logisticians (+3,800 jobs)
The number one occupation on the list, Industrial Machinery Mechanic, is in especially high demand. Nationally, businesses place workers with this skill in an average of 14,000 jobs per month. And wages range between $19 to $30 an hour.
Where To Learn More
If you’re interested in learning more about these and other manufacturing jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends contacting SkillsUSA. It’s a national organization for skills training in high school, college career, and technical education programs. You can learn about its programs, scholarships, competitions, and more here.
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