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8 of the fastest-growing jobs in manufacturing

8 of the fastest-growing jobs in manufacturing

Manufacturing jobs are important for many types of businesses and governments. People who work in manufacturing are extremely valuable, and they fill a variety of positions. Like many other industries, some jobs in manufacturing are growing more quickly than others. Choosing one of these jobs can help you advance your career, increase your income faster, and take advantage of more opportunities. In this article, we'll discuss some of the fastest-growing manufacturing occupations.

Mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers design, build, and test many types of devices, including tools, thermal sensors, and machines. Their responsibilities often include:

  • Analyzing problems 
  • Designing or redesigning mechanical devices
  • Creating blueprints 
  • Building and testing prototypes
  • Examining test results and making changes if needed
  • Overseeing the manufacturing process 

This role is ideal for people who are analytical, creative, and innovative in solving problems. It requires extensive knowledge of math, science, physics, and design. Mechanical engineers are in high demand. Some have a bachelor's degree in the subject, while others have a master's or doctoral degree. In the United States, mechanical engineers make an average of $46.65 per hour. 

"Jobs in manufacturing are growing fast, and many of these positions pay very well."


A welder sets up and operates welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots. These devices use intense heat to join metal parts, make them smoother, or polish them. Welders can also operate laser cutters or machines. Some use a computer to control equipment remotely, and others operate hand-held devices. Technical training and certification are required, and many of these professionals have multiple certifications.  Welders make an average of $15.85 per hour. 

Quality control inspector

Quality control inspectors, also called quality control specialists, work in many types of manufacturing settings. They make sure that products meet or exceed company standards by checking them and monitoring manufacturing equipment. Quality control inspectors often test and maintain equipment and check the quality of raw materials. They also report any defects or malfunctions to management. Some of these jobs provide training, and many require an associate degree. Quality control inspectors make an average of $26.70 per hour. 

Machine operator

Machine operators control specialized equipment in factories or use various devices in a warehouse. The equipment is often computer-controlled or robotic. Machine operators know how to use these devices safely and can troubleshoot and fix malfunctions and other issues. On average, machine operators make $19.40 per hour. 


Machinists set up and operate various tools and devices to produce precision parts and instruments. They often fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. These workers also maintain industrial machines. They have extensive knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, and machining procedures. Machinists earn an average of $23.60 per hour.  

Tool and die maker

Tool and die makers are similar to machinists, but they specialize in tools and dies. A die is a device that can form items into different shapes by cutting them or applying heat. These professionals analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts. They also make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges, and hand tools for machinists. Toolmakers earn an average of $27 per hour in the United States.

Machine assembler

A machine assembler constructs, assembles, or rebuilds machines such as engines or turbines used in construction, extraction, textiles, paper manufacturing, and similar industries. They often work on assembly lines, and their duties include: 

  •  Following a set of blueprints or schematics
  •  Verifying correct quantities of parts after delivery
  •  Checking completed items for quality
  •  Ordering new parts
  •  Informing supervisors about any part or equipment defects 
  •  Communicating with other assemblers
  •  Maintaining and servicing equipment when needed
  •  Conserving resources and supplies
  •  Maintaining a safe and clean working environment

Entry-level machine assemblers usually need at least a high school diploma, and some employers prefer a technical school certification or an associate degree. More senior roles typically require one to three years of experience in manufacturing. Machine assemblers make $14.85 per hour on average.  


Millwrights install, maintain, move, and disassemble machines and heavy equipment. They follow blueprints and plans and sometimes perform repairs or replace worn or defective parts. Millwrights usually have contracts with a variety of clients. They often work on a job site for a few days or weeks and then start a new project at a different location. A millwright makes about $25.75 per hour.  

Jobs in manufacturing are growing fast, and many of these positions offer high earnings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April 2023, the unemployment rate for people in the manufacturing industry was only 2.8%. People in manufacturing can use advanced technology to design, create, or modify many different devices, and they work in a range of industries. To apply for a job in manufacturing, you can upload your resume to CareerBuilder

Related reading: Finding jobs in manufacturing

Here are some tips to help you write a resume for the manufacturing industry

A welder can benefit from becoming a certified welding inspector.

Here's more information about what it takes to be a mechanical engineer.

Civil engineers often work in manufacturing and construction for governments.

Many electrical engineers work in manufacturing as well.

Assemblers and fabricators often need good leadership and teamwork skills.