All too many people have an image of manufacturing that harkens back to the Industrial Revolution: Brutal, low-skilled, and low-paid labor in difficult and dangerous conditions.
Many of those who do realize manufacturing has always been a part of modern America’s middle class now believe that the industry is dying.
Nothing could be further from the truth – manufacturing is growing in importance in the U.S., not shrinking!
Part of the problem with the industrial sector’s image is driven by parents’ preconceptions: According to research sponsored by Alcoa and SkillsUSA, many parents have a dim view of career prospects in the field. Their beliefs simply don’t square up with the exciting, dynamic world of the industry today.
Let’s look at some common myths about working in the industrial sector and uncover the truth:
Myth: Low Hourly Wages
Check the link above and you might see that most parents surveyed estimated the average hourly wage in manufacturing at $22 an hour. The truth is very different: Not only is the average hourly wage closer to $34, but entry-level roles are often compensated $60,000 or more. On top of that, nine out of ten workers in the industrial sector get substantial health benefits.
Myth: Jobs Aren’t Stable or Reliable
The U.S. Department of Commerce has shown that industrial jobs are some of the most stable in the economy, with the highest job tenure throughout the private sector. That translates to better lifetime earnings and greater potential for workers to save for retirement throughout their career, an important goal that often ends up on the back burner in other industries.
Myth: Jobs Aren’t Innovative or Stimulating
According to Accenture’s 2014 Manufacturing Skills and Training Survey, over 75% of all the manufacturing companies surveyed report a moderate or severe shortage of skilled employees. More than a third – 35% – of manufacturing roles at these companies are considered “highly skilled,” while 80% are “highly skilled” or “skilled.” Only 20% are “unskilled.”
Myth: Most Jobs Will Be Outsourced
According to The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, there’ll be nearly 3.5 million U.S. jobs in manufacturing that need to be filled over the next decade. As today’s students shy away from the industry, about two million positions may go unfilled. At the same time, demand for skilled and educated manufacturing employees will go up, resulting in greater competition among employers to recruit top talent.
Today’s industrial professionals use cutting-edge technologies in modern, safe environments, tackling challenges that give consumers better products and, ultimately, better lives. Now is the perfect time for young people to take a second look at the industry and consider a lucrative, fulfilling career in the field.
We’re proud to work with many growing American manufacturing businesses!