A long time ago, the manufacturing industry was infamous for cramped, dirty work conditions and low pay. Dozens of low-skilled workers would be crammed into work spaces just barely large enough to fit them and perform repetitive, sometimes backbreaking tasks day in and out.
For decades, the preconception that manufacturing is hard, dirty, dangerous, and unrewarding work has haunted the American manufacturing industry. This preconception has kept many Americans from actively pursuing a career in manufacturing.
However, American manufacturing has gone through many transformations in the decades since the start of the industrial revolution. New innovations in manufacturing processes and technology have forever changed the manufacturing workplace for the better.
In fact, now is probably one of the best times in the history of America to begin a career in manufacturing.
“Why,” you ask?
Well, here are some of the top reasons that you should begin a career in manufacturing:
#1: Manufacturing Work is Safer Than Ever
For a long time, manufacturing work had a high level of risk, particularly in jobs where strong chemicals or heavy parts assembly was involved. Doing this work manually meant that workers would always be up close and exposed to various work hazards, even when strong safety protocols were in place.
The introduction of manufacturing automation has changed this.
Now, manufacturing workers can program and supervise manufacturing robots that do the heavy lifting. This keeps workers well away from hazardous materials and processes that can result in injuries.
In fact, since adopting manufacturing automation and enacting several key workplace safety programs, Marlin Steel has gone over 2,500 consecutive days without a major safety incident. Marlin Steel was even awarded with OSHA’s SHARP designation, one of only 5 businesses in the state of Maryland to earn the distinction.
#2: Manufacturing Work Pays a Living Wage
Manufacturers in the U.S. need skilled workers. To fill business-critical job positions in the manufacturing industry, manufacturers will pay well. Some manufacturers even offer bonuses and other incentives to acquire personnel with the skills they need.
For example, Marlin Steel uses a job skills matrix to track all of the skills each employee has. Each new skill that a worker masters is rewarded with a permanent pay increase. The more difficult the skill is to learn, the higher the raise.
Marlin also offers bonuses for meeting or beating aggressive production goals every pay period, not just once a season or year. If you can meet a tough production goal, you get a bonus on your next paycheck, not at some nebulous point in the distant future.
If you have the skills, a career in manufacturing can help pay your bills. With the right company, a career in manufacturing can put you on the road to financial stability and independence. It sure beats a dead-end job flipping burgers.
#3: Modern Manufacturing is Cerebral Work, Not Physical Labor
Another major change in modern manufacturing brought about by the use of manufacturing automation is that there is a greater emphasis on using your mind instead of your muscles.
Thanks to the introduction of robotic assembly techniques, workers on the production line can focus on tasks such as finding ways to speed up production or reduce waste rather than on tedious manual labor.
In modern manufacturing, knowing how to optimize a design or process counts for more than how much you can lift. American manufacturing companies now look for people who can program and maintain robotic assembly machines in top condition.
So, if you’re looking for a job where you get to use your smarts, and aren’t afraid of a little hard work, a career in manufacturing might just suit you perfectly.
American manufacturing has changed greatly in the last few decades. With the improvements in safety, pay, educational opportunities, and other benefits, there’s never been a better time to begin a career in manufacturing.