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Is the job market good for manufacturing?

I am a middle school student and I took a quiz in class that told me manufacturing would be a good career choice for me. #school #student #graduate-school #high-school-classes #college #manufacturing


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Stephen’s Answer

A test that suggests a career is interesting but I would recommend you keep all of your options open. As I recall my middle school years my interest changed on a regular basis. I had no job experience that would give me confidence I would enjoy and be good at any job. I don’t think I even could have named five manufacturing jobs that existed where I lived. That being said, I did go end up in manufacturing for many years and am happy I did.
If I define manufacturing as a process to change raw materials or manufactured components into product then it covers a very wide variety of assembly and transformation processes. I would include; manufacturing textiles, food, wood products, plastics, chemicals, electronics, and fabricated metals and others in this list. However, if you think about these commodities you will find that the customers or markets are different for each. The process to make products in each segment products are also different. To get a really useful answer to your question you will need to investigate a specific manufacturing segment you have invest in learning more about and then research the job market in your area.
To get started you could read information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on the manufacturing sector. They will provide very high level job counts for each of the manufacturing industries over many years and will have current data. In general there is a general drop in total number of manufacturing jobs over the last 40 years. There has been a loss of a half a million jobs since Feb of 2020 year but the numbers for March 2021 have 53,000 new jobs created in the manufacturing sector in the US.
I will suggest to you that a good starting point is to learn more about manufacturing. The US Bureau of Labor provides an outlook for production that will give you some basic information. (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/home.htm)
You might also find it useful to consider some of the links and tools provided from the occupational outlook handbook home page. (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/home.htm)

Here is my advice as a set of possible steps you to think about.
Is there a manufacturing plant in your local area? You can just use Google Maps using your zip code and enter near manufacturing to get a possible starting list. Go to the company web page and start to read about the products they sell. You might also find information about how the products are used and some basic information about the kinds of manufacturing capabilities they have. Also look to see if the manufacturing is all done at this location or if different products are made at other locations. Try to find a product or manufacturing process that interesting to you.

I found personal satisfaction in a manufacturing job when you make a well-designed product using a controlled manufacturing process with a focus on safety, consistency and quality. When the product you produce is useful to the customer and they obtain value from your work. From my experience you should also consider the environmental aspects of the manufacturing process and the manufactured product in looking at your options. During my career we had to learn to build our products so that they could be completely recycled at the end of their useful life.

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Karla’s Answer

Hi Donovan, I agree with Rakesh's answer about green manufacturing jobs being available in the very near future - this is going to be government supported and we will hopefully see a whole new sector of the manufacturing industry take off. When you're out of school, it may be far more developed and thriving, exciting to think about.

On the other hand, food and beverage manufacturing has held strong during the pandemic. Even during crisis, any product sold in grocery stores is going to be in demand! The job market is likely to still be strong when you're out of high school or college. Manufacturing for food and beverage is mainly done here in the United States - so the jobs in that sector are unlikely to go overseas.

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rakesh’s Answer

I think it's going to be a great market for "green" manufacturing jobs from late 2021 to ?

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