When you think about the job skills needed to be successful in a manufacturing job, it’s probably strength and stamina that first come to mind. That’s because manufacturing has traditionally involved manual labor – and lots of it. But today’s manufacturing plants are much more sophisticated, using computers to automate many of the old processes that kept past generations of American workers busy with their hands. Today, the manufacturing sector is as likely to use your hands for the computer keyboard instead of a manual or hands-on function.

What are the skills you need in today’s manufacturing fields? You might be surprised at what we’ve come up with.

Technology Changed Manufacturing

While the old assembly line may still be around in today’s modern manufacturing, technology has evolved these functioning parts of a plant into a technology-driven process. This means manufacturing workers these days must have a number of skills that are different from the ones our parents had. Some of the skills needed today include:

  • Critical thinking skills that allow the worker to troubleshoot problems on the line. While these skills have always been needed in supervisory roles, today’s average line worker should be able to recognize and point out problems that could hamper production as they occur. Today’s hiring managers are screening more for good judgment and decision-making skills. In the modern factory of today, making quick decisions is job one.
  • Attention to detail will facilitate sound decision-making. This is true in almost any job, but particularly in the complex world of manufacturing. Staying focused on the job at hand and paying close attention to the minute details is what sets the best workers apart in a manufacturing setting. If you’re operating heavy machinery, these skills can mean the difference between safer production and a worker’s comp claim.
  • Communication is always important, whether the job is in an office setting or out on the manufacturing floor. Strong communicators are leaders in most settings. If you can use these skills to build team camaraderie that’s even more valuable to employers looking for articulate workers able to share information between individuals and teams.
  • Technology aptitude is the new requisite for any manufacturing firm. This is particularly true because computers and automation now govern so many manufacturing processes. But technology is constantly changing so it’s likely that the processes will continue to change. If you are seeking a career in manufacturing and have an interest and passion for technology and innovation, this is a good field to get into.

These skills will help manufacturing workers in their efforts to succeed in the job. They also help them adapt to a variety of roles within a company, which is particularly important because manufacturing firms find value in cross-training their employees.

Is Manufacturing Right for You?

If you have these skills or would like to learn them, manufacturing may be the career path for you. If you would like to learn more about a career in the manufacturing field, contact IES to talk about your options today. We can help you get started down a lucrative and secure career path in the manufacturing field.

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