Inside Manufacturing Professional Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Ability To Implement Change...
What surprises me the most about my position on a daily basis is the fact that superiors value my thoughts and ideas. I have been able to propose and implement many improvements in the workplace." (Supervisor; 2014)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Texas, female
School: Studied Liberal Studies at Iowa State University in Iowa; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Thankless Opportunity...
Being an operations manager is a thankless job. You could do 100 really big things right and get no praise. The second one thing goes wrong expect the sky to be falling with groups that work around you. It is very cut throat at times and you need to answer clearly or concisely." (Operations Manager; 2014)

Career: , currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Business Administration at Albright College in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Manager Of Manufacturing Company: "The best part of my job is that we are constantly learning new processes and methods to stay competitive. We use technology whenever possible to be able to compete with countries like China and India to be able to use fewer people to make the same products. Since we work with prototypes, we are often the first people to see the idea become a reality and to see new technology before anyone knows it is being made. The worst part is that the work can be dirty sometimes with the different types of oils and industrial cleaners we use. There is a distinct machine shop smell that takes some getting used to." (2011)

Career Background

Manufacturing Professional

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Lean/Six Sigma Skills Are Valued In The Industry...
If you want to be a successful supervisor in a manufacturing environment, it is important to have a solid background in Lean/Six Sigma principles. Manufacturing facilities are constantly striving to improve processes to increase efficiency." (Supervisor; 2014)

"Communication Skills...
Become a clear communicator using multiple forums. Writing emails and communicating clearly and effectively while doing so is paramount. Those are the building blocks to success is the future." (Operations Manager; 2014)

"Go To A Vocational School...
The best place to get experience in manufacturing is at a vocational school which offers machine shop classes. Further education is very helpful at a technical college where the necessary math classes (and there is a lot of math!) and techniques are taught in real life situations. There are a few shops that offer apprentice programs that can be very beneficial also. Any time spent in a machine shop, even starting out sweeping floors will prove to be an asset." (Manager Of Manufacturing Company; 2011)