13+ Top Jobs in Manufacturing: From Entry-Level to Executive 

White background. Light blue accent circle. Insight Global logo. Circle crop of photo of two people working in manufacturing jobs.

The manufacturing world is dynamic and ever evolving as it adapts to new technology and industry-wide challenges.

Manufacturing encompasses everything from automotive to electronics, and textiles to food processing. It is a cornerstone of global economies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 12.7 million workers were employed in manufacturing in 2022.

With its current growth trajectory and technological advancements, manufacturing offers many opportunities for talented job seekers at all levels.

There are many high-paying jobs in manufacturing, especially for skilled labor. With every new technological integration, more skilled labor is needed to facilitate smooth operations.

Other factors influencing the changes in manufacturing include:

  • Ongoing post-pandemic recovery
  • Economic shifts
  • Policy changes
  • Labor shortages
  • Global market trend

Here’s a quick look at the job opportunities in manufacturing.

The Top Jobs in Manufacturing: From Entry-Level to Executive

The manufacturing sector regularly offers many employment opportunities, and the current trends only increase the need for skilled talent and workers willing to learn and grow.

Let’s explore the various jobs at every skill level and professional tier.

Entry-Level Manufacturing Jobs

The foundation of manufacturing lies in its dedicated workforce, starting with entry-level positions crucial for the sector’s day-to-day operations.

  • Production Assemblers: Production assemblers play a vital role by assembling parts or products, ensuring that manufacturing lines keep moving efficiently.
  • Machine Operators: Machine operators are at the heart of manufacturing, overseeing machinery operation and ensuring that production standards are met with precision.
  • Quality Control Inspectors: Quality control inspectors are the guardians of manufacturing excellence, tasked with inspecting products to maintain high-quality standards.

According to the BLS, in 2023, jobs in this category typically pay a median wage of $18 per hour.

Skilled Trades and Technicians

Beyond entry-level roles, the sector relies on skilled tradespeople and technicians, whose expertise ensures the smooth operation of increasingly sophisticated manufacturing processes.

  • Machinists: Machinists are skilled craftsmen who operate tools and machines. They shape raw materials into finished products with precision and care.
  • Tool and Die Makers: Tool and die makers craft precision tools and dies used to manufacture other products. These tools are crucial in maintaining production efficiency.

The median pay for these jobs ranges from $26-29 per hour.

Health and Safety in Manufacturing

Maintaining a safe and healthy work environment is paramount in manufacturing, and specialized roles are dedicated to this mission.

  • Health and Safety Officers: These professionals implement safety policies, conduct inspections, and lead training sessions to prevent workplace accidents and injuries.
  • Environmental Health Specialists: They ensure compliance with environmental regulations, safeguarding employee health and the environment.

Health and safety leaders earn an average median wage of $39 per hour.

Supply Chain and Logistics

The seamless operation of manufacturing relies heavily on effective supply chain and logistics management professionals.

  • Logistics Managers: Logistics managers oversee the movement, distribution, and storage of materials and finished products, ensuring timely delivery and operational efficiency.
  • Supply Chain Coordinators: Supply chain coordinators manage a product’s entire life cycle, from procurement of raw materials to delivery of the final product, optimizing costs and efficiency.

Logistics and supply chain professionals earn between $103,000 and $135,000 annually.

Manufacturing Management and Executives

Leadership within manufacturing plants and companies plays a critical role in setting strategic direction and ensuring the success of production goals.

  • Plant Managers: Plant managers oversee all operations within a manufacturing facility, ensuring that production goals are met safely and efficiently.
  • Operations Directors: Operations directors provide strategic leadership in manufacturing processes, driving productivity and innovation to achieve competitive advantage.

Manufacturing managers and executives typically earn between $81,000 and $112,000 annually.

Emerging Roles in Manufacturing

Technological advancements are giving rise to new roles within the manufacturing sector, emphasizing the importance of staying ahead in skills and knowledge with upskilling opportunities.

Roles in Automation and Robotics

Advances in automation and robotics are transforming manufacturing floors, requiring new skills in robot programming, maintenance, and operation.

Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing leverages cutting-edge technology to improve the manufacturing process. These changes create demand for roles in software development, data analysis, and cyber-physical systems.

Salaries and Career Advancement

Salaries in the manufacturing sector vary widely based on role, skill level, experience, and location. Entry-level positions offer a foothold in the industry, while skilled and executive roles come with significantly higher earning potential. Career advancement in manufacturing is highly rewarding, with opportunities for continuous learning and progression into leadership positions.

The Future of Manufacturing Jobs

The future of manufacturing is bright, with trends like automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and sustainable manufacturing shaping the industry. As manufacturing continues to evolve, so will the jobs it offers, promising a range of exciting opportunities for the workforce of tomorrow.

Secure Your Future in Manufacturing with Insight Global

Manufacturing offers a wide range of career opportunities, from hands-on technical roles to strategic executive positions.

The rewards are significant for ambitious individuals considering a career in this sector, with high potential stability and advancement possibilities.

At Insight Global, we play a pivotal role in the manufacturing ecosystem, providing vital staffing solutions that help bridge the gap between talented job seekers and top manufacturing jobs.

Whether starting your career journey in manufacturing or aiming for an executive position, we can help you find your path to success.

Contact us to learn more about our exciting manufacturing opportunities and how we can help you land your ideal job.