Why Manufacturing is the Best Career You’ve Probably Overlooked
Manufacturing jobs use the latest technology, provide an opportunity for growth, are plentiful and secure. Yet, if you listen to the media, you may have a completely different impression.
Despite what you may hear, there is plenty of good news about manufacturing in the U.S.
- As recently as 2015, manufacturing employed 8.7 percent of U.S. workers, making it one of the five largest industries in terms of jobs.
- Over the next decade, over 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will become available. Nearly 400,00 positions are available right now.
- Manufacturing jobs pay well. On average, American manufacturing workers earn nearly 30% more (including pay and benefits), than workers in other industries.
- The manufacturing industry provides stable and secure careers. The average tenure of workers in manufacturing jobs is the highest among all private sector industries at 9.1 years.
Facts and figures are one thing, but what is it like to work in manufacturing?
Three Simplex employees share their experiences and perspectives on careers in manufacturing
To help answer that question, we invited three veteran Simplex employees – Gordon Merry, Grant Miazga and Chris Janiec – to talk about their careers and the misperceptions that people have about manufacturing.
Tell us about your career with Simplex
Gordon Merry – General Manager. I started with Simplex 35 years ago wiring control panels. Before becoming the general manager, I had positions in quality control, project management, and production.
Grant Miazga – Quality Control Manager. I started working at Simplex 12 years ago. First in the shipping department, then, I wired custom panels for five years and progressed through other positions including lead wirer and quality control technician.
Chris Janiec – Project Manager. I’ve been with Simplex for 22 years. I was new to manufacturing and had been working as a bike messenger. Started as a wirer – building panels. Then, I was in quality control for 8 years. I’ve been a project manager for 9 years.
What helped you to be successful in your career?
Gordon: I’m always amazed how far I have come. When I started at Simplex I just wanted to make money to feed my family. Initially, I didn’t understand the potential. However, as long as I was willing to learn, there were always opportunities for advancement.
Grant: I like to learn and hate to be stagnant. Anyone who has ambition and the will to learn can have a rewarding career at Simplex.
Chris: I was willing to take on new challenges, learn and accept feedback. Valuing the experience of other employees really helped me to learn and advance with the company.
What are some of the misperceptions people have about manufacturing careers?
Gordon: People assume everyone who works in manufacturing is blue collar, not educated or intelligent. They think everyone is a laborer – not able or willing to do anything else. What they don’t realize is that there are many types of jobs in manufacturing including “white collar” positions that require degrees and education.
Grant: A lot of people think that you just stand at a conveyor belt for hours a day. When they hear the word factory they imagine a sweatshop – a place that is loud and dirty. They assume that there is no room to grow or move ahead. This could not be further from the truth.
Chris: Manufacturing isn’t glorified in the media like other professions. It’s not necessarily “flashy” – a lot happens behind the scenes. I also think people have a perception that you can’t have a good career unless you have a college degree. That’s just not the case. If you have a desire to learn on the job and take on new challenges, you can be very successful and make a good living.
What have you found most rewarding about your career in manufacturing?
Gordon: At Simplex I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to learn new things.
Grant: I have a lot of pride in what I do. Being a part of making our control panels is rewarding.
Chris: It’s rewarding to see where the panels I’ve helped make end up. Some are at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, for example – it’s a sense of accomplishment. I also enjoy mentoring our younger staff to help them succeed at Simplex.
Interested, in a manufacturing career?
If you like working with your hands (and your mind) then a manufacturing career may be for you. Consider joining our team at Simplex or refer someone you know!
We have opportunities for individuals who are eager to learn and have a passion for producing a superior product. Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook. Browse open positions on our career page. Or, call us at 630-766-8401 for a personal tour of our clean, modern manufacturing facility.
Manufacturing Institute: http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Research/Facts-About-Manufacturing/Facts.aspx
Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/employment-by-major-industry-sector.htm
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