If you’re looking to start a career in manufacturing, your prospects are looking bright. The National Association of Manufacturing estimates that, by 2030, 4 million manufacturing jobs will be needed. This is good news on top of already good news, considering that the average manufacturing salary is already around $80,000.
There are many diverse career paths skilled workers can choose from. A few positions are notable for netting higher salaries compared to the rest. If you’re interested in making good money in manufacturing, we are here to help. Below, we’re going to cover the gauntlet of manufacturing jobs. From those you can start right away, to those you can earn later into your career with a little more experience under your belt.
Machinist, Average Salary | $45,696
A machinist is a great way to get exposure to many different parts of manufacturing early on in your career. From working with lathe and milling machines to reviewing blueprints and getting your hands dirty with drilling and cutting of materials, you’re going to get a lot of experience as a machinist. The average U.S. salary for a machinist is $45,696 can vary based on education and experience. On the high end, machinists can make as much as $59,000.
Welder, Average Salary | $42,932
The master of metals, a job as a welder will have you welding, brazing, flame-cutting, and silver soldering. Better yet, have fun while you get paid almost $43,000 a year, and up to $55,158 on the high end. As always, it depends on education and experience but welding is a great way to get your foot in the door of a manufacturing career.
Maintenance Tech, Average Salary | $44,756
If you’re the type who finds passion in purpose in keeping a clear and operable shop, starting out as a maintenance tech might be appealing to you. You’ll cover every square inch of the shop, without requiring too much training, but that gives you hands-on experience working with different machines and assets. At $44,756 as a yearly average salary, it’s also a competitive job for people looking to launch their manufacturing careers right now.
Quality Supervisor, Average Salary: $105,480
A Quality Supervisor is typically in charge of a team of Quality Inspectors who are responsible for examining products to make sure they are not defective and meet manufacturer standards. The job responsibilities of a Quality Supervisor may include monitoring operations, managing projects, overseeing people operations, and making sure that scheduling is in coordination with operations. On average, they make about $105,480 per year but they could make anywhere up to $176,070.
Robotics Engineer, Average Salary: $87,040
A career in robotic engineering is a great fit for anyone interested in electronics, programming, and mechanics. An average day for a Robotics Engineer involves designing, testing, and building robots. Some robotics engineers work to design robotic systems that can perform tasks humans cannot do or tasks humans can do but with more efficiency. Others research methods to manufacture robots more economically. Robotics engineers most commonly work within the automotive, food packaging, appliance, and electronic industries. On average, a Robotics Engineer makes about $87,040 per year but they can make up to $158,830.
Industrial Engineer, Average Salary: $88,020
If you’re all about efficiency and resource management, a career as an Industrial Engineer might make sense for you. An Industrial Engineer is responsible for increasing productivity, reducing wastefulness, cutting costs, and ensuring quality standards are maintained. They look for ways to make sure that workers, machines, materials, information, and energy are utilized to make a product or deliver a service in a streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective way.
In their work they look at specific factors like time, workers needed, available technology, ability to accomplish the work error-free, workers' safety, environmental concerns, and cost. They also make decisions based on their knowledge of business organization, product requirements, and safety methods to maximize output. On average, an Industrial Engineer makes a yearly salary of $88,020 but can make upwards of $134,070.
Electrical Engineer, Average Salary: $81,530
An electrical engineer handles innovation related to electricity, electromagnetism, and electronics. A strong understanding of physics and mathematics is needed to excel in this profession. Electrical engineers apply both physics and mathematics principles to design, test, and develop new electrical equipment and systems, including communications systems, power generators, motors and navigation systems, and electrical systems for automobiles and aircraft. Electrical engineers work across a variety of industries, so skills can vary wildly. On average, an Electrical Engineer makes a yearly salary of $81,530 but can make upwards of $145,880.
This brief list provides just a sample of the kinds of careers available to skilled workers looking to explore manufacturing. The manufacturing job salaries mentioned here vary depending on the company, region, specialty, and level of experience.
If you would like to explore further and read more information on manufacturing career paths, check out our Career Paths hub. Once you’ve decided which job is the right fit for you, we offer even more resources to make finding your next opportunity easier. Browse job listings on our job board or if you need additional guidance, our career coaches can help match you with jobs tailored to your skills and career goals. FactoryFix is here to help skilled workers like you build a bright future with a career in manufacturing.