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College of Continuing Education News

Manufacturing Career Outlook and Earnings Good

Career opportunities for the manufacturing sector are promising. That is because manufacturing is the third largest industry in Minnesota and accounts for more than 13 percent of jobs statewide.

Not only is the career outlook good, but the working environments are comfortable and the jobs are complex and interesting. High-performing, cross-functional employees who can implement new processes and enhancements are in great demand as traditional work methods give way to collaboration.

Furthermore, many industries, such as medical technology, are still expecting growth, especially in Minnesota. Wage and salary employment in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing is projected to grow about 14 percent by 2016; in electronic instrument manufacturing, 12 percent.

In addition, new vacancies in all sectors are being generated as baby boomers begin to retire in unprecedented numbers. It is estimated that 85 percent of these emerging manufacturing jobs in Minnesota will require advanced education, with 20 percent requiring a bachelor's degree. (www.deed.state.mn.us.)

Experienced manufacturing operations professionals are well compensated, depending on industry and level of responsibility. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition predicts a median pay of just over $87,000 for an industrial production manager.

Individuals with experience in production occupations, combined with the knowledge this program provides, will have the best prospects of moving into positions of responsibility, such as:

  • Team Leader
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Materials Manager
  • Production Planner
  • Operations Analyst
  • Operations Manager
  • Production Supervisor
  • Quality Auditor
  • Quality Manager

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