A new article from the Wall Street Journal discussed how many skilled factory positions allow young people, and those re-entering the workforce, to earn a good living without accumulating big college debts. Despite being in an era of automation, the Labor Department estimates 320,000 positions in manufacturing were open in March, and that number is only growing. Some of the most in demand skills include programming and operating automated tools, maintaining and repairing high-tech machinery, and doing specialized types of welding. Plus, many of these high paying factory jobs require only a year or two of vocational training. Subsequently, young people can start earning money sooner and avoid running up big college debts. Job security in the industry is also high— the unemployment rate for manufacturing in the U.S. was 4% in April, compared with 5.1% for the country as a whole.
The article includes a number of fantastic infographics on employment in the manufacturing, including wage, total employment, and education attainment. Definitely worth the read!