Who Works in Manufacturing?

Manufacturing and production are relatively interchangeable terms for making a product, including all of the processes involved in making it. All products are manufactured and produced. The clothes you wear, books you read, and computers you use were manufactured. So were the textiles for the clothes, the paper for the books, and the components of the computers.

People who work in manufacturing and production don’t just create products; they create them as quickly as possible, as inexpensively as possible, and in the necessary quantities. Those working in manufacturing and production know that time is money: The faster and better that they and the machines around them work, the better their companies perform.

It doesn’t matter if you’re producing silicon chips or Pokemon toys. The manufacturing challenge is to develop better production processes, secure the right material and component supplies at the least cost, reduce production time, eliminate waste, and ensure quality in the final product.

Manufacturing and production professionals today are highly skilled, mission-critical employees in an area where time is money. To succeed, you’ll need technical skills, attention to detail, and the creativity to improve processes. You’ll also need to be able to endure stress, as management demands new ways to produce new and old goods faster and cheaper.

Manufacturing has opportunities for workers with a range of backgrounds. Some qualities and skills are often required. Workers also need a combination of education and training, which varies by occupation.

Manufacturing workers need to be able to cooperate as part of a team. They also need to be detail oriented, dependable, and adept at problem solving. Dexterity and mechanical or technical ability are important, too.

The Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1)© certificate program was developed to meet the growing employment demands of the manufacturing industry. The complete MT1 program addresses the core industry-wide skills standards required for skilled production occupations in all sectors of manufacturing.

The core competency areas included are: (1) Math and Measurement, (2) Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology, and (3) Quality and Business Acumen. There are two levels of certification associated with the MT1 certificate program: the Manufacturing Specialist (MS) Credential and the MT1 Credential. The MS and MT1 are stackable credentials and both are industry-endorsed and competency-based.

A Manufacturing Technician operates precision machinery, systems and processes. Typical skills expected in these positions usually include: CAD skills, computer-controlled machine programming, precision measurement, process and machine trouble-shooting, problem-solving, machine maintenance and proficient use of diagnostic and statistical tools. These positions generally describe someone who has enough broad-based knowledge about a multi-step process to successfully troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of typical “machine operators”. Sample Job Titles: Operator, Production Operator, Production Technician, Technician, Chemical Equipment Operator, Chemical Operator, Fixers, CNC Technician, Manufacturing Technician and Production Manufacturing Specialist. NOTE: To review a full list of production occupations in modern manufacturing requiring technical skills, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at:

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes510000.htm .