October 20, 2017 Lauren Gallagher

5 Misconceptions About Manufacturing

Manufacturing is an ever-evolving industry. Exciting developments are happening all the time, and the industry is on the rise. However, some misconceptions about manufacturing remain.

So what are they? And how do we move past them? Read on for five misconceptions about manufacturing. And let us know… what would you add to the list?

5 Misconceptions About Manufacturing

Manufacturing jobs are low paying

The average hourly pay for a manufacturing worker is higher than most assume. According to a 2015 study of 1,035 parents with children aged 6-17, 89% think the average hourly wage for manufacturing employees is between $7-$22 an hour. It’s actually significantly higher at $33. That’s over 3x’s the average national minimum wage and beats out the average hourly wage of $21.

There aren’t diverse opportunities in manufacturing

Tim Lawrence, Executive Director of SkillSoft USA noted, “Parents have some awareness about manufacturing careers, but there are still looming misconceptions about the robust, exciting prospects for their sons and daughters, especially as more than half of manufacturers see a shortage of manufacturing talent.” There are opportunities in Solar, Biomedical, and Aerospace just to name a few. Education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is important. These areas provide a strong foundation for a promising career in manufacturing.

Manufacturing jobs are repetitive and not stimulating

Take a walk on a manufacturing floor and you will find this is largely not the case. Manufacturing workers can receive multiple certifications and learn about many different processes. Being an employee’s market, there’re better chances for advancement as well.

Manufacturing is an “old school” industry

Manufacturing is all about new technology. 3D printing, for example, may still be seen as something out of a sci-fi film, but it’s alive and well in today’s manufacturing world.  In this process, each layer of an object is thinly printed out, until a full-blown product emerges. And 3D printing is only the tip of the iceberg. Developments in sensing and process control also enable manufacturers to closely monitor the production process, tracking everything from the time it takes from start to finish, to detecting minor shifts in conditions that could lead to process failure.

Manufacturing jobs are unsafe

Sonny Workman, a team lead who has been with Whirlpool for 29 years told BBC News, “The one thing that’s changed in my time is the focus on safety. In the past, it was ‘numbers, numbers, numbers’. Now it’s, ‘put safety first and the numbers will come’. We want people to leave the plant as they came.” It’s a growing trend that should please both employees and employers, as the safer a plant, the higher the safety rating it receives.

Lack of safety is one of the most common misconceptions about manufacturing. It’s important to research a company’s safety rating and history prior to applying for a manufacturing job. Measures like Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma, however, are common practices that keep the majority of facilities safe. Lean, or Toyotism (the original name credited to Toyota, who created the process) is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. The lean process has helped safety in a number of ways. By eliminating unnecessary steps and streamlining their process via lean, manufacturers are able to better monitor potentially dangerous situations and in turn, avoid them in the future.

Despite misconceptions about manufacturing, the industry is booming in the US. New technologies continue to grow in popularity and the new generations are beginning to understand the opportunities available.

As a trusted recruitment source for more than a decade, TruPath has the industry knowledge and a proven model to help our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate.

Through our TruProcess, we are able to consistently deliver exceptional candidates that help organizations continue down successful paths. Contact TruPath today in order to tell us about your staffing needs.