Students & Parents

Careers in Manufacturing

Are you wondering what a career in manufacturing holds for you? Below you will find a list of career options, training or education needed, and the expected income available to those pursuing a manufacturing career in Chester & Delaware Counties. While there are many different paths you can take to acquire the skills you need, the following represents a possible path that would provide you the flexibility to pursue your goals on your own schedule, while you balance your life's challenges and opportunities.

In the rapidly changing world we live in, long careers and job security mean continuously improving and updating your skills. The future of manufacturing depends on having a workforce whose skills are up to date and can compete in a global marketplace. You will be offered an array of continuous, company-paid training to improve your skills. For people with the interest and aptitude for a management career, manufacturers offer tuition reimbursement toward two-year, four-year and in some cases, advanced degrees!

Potential Careers

Entry-level CNC Operator

TRAINING/ EDUCATION:

TIMEFRAME:

  • 15 week certificate
  • Ongoing OJT
Expected Income
$15-$17/hr

Senior CNC Operator

TRAINING/ EDUCATION:

TIMEFRAME:

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • 15 week certificate
  • Ongoing OJT
Expected Income
$17-$22/hr

CNC Programmer

TRAINING/ EDUCATION:

TIMEFRAME:

  • 1-2 years' additional experience
  • 15 week certificate
  • Ongoing OJT
Expected Income
$22-$26/hr

Supervisor

TRAINING/ EDUCATION:

TIMEFRAME:

  • 1-2 years' additional experience
  • 15 week certificate
  • Ongoing OJT
Expected Income
$26/hr plus

Manager

TRAINING/ EDUCATION:

  • Associates degree, transfer to a 4-year college for bachelors degree in manufacturing technology or management

TIMEFRAME:

  • 3-4 years for bachelors degree
Expected Income
$30/hr plus

High Demand Careers

CNC Programmer


A CNC programmer determines the sequence of shaping operations and chooses the cutting tools needed. He analyzes job orders, drawings, blueprints, and other data and then performs all the necessary calculations. A programmer writes programs or modifies existing programs and stores them on the machine's controller using tapes or disks. After programming, he may ensure that the machines and programs operate correctly and that products meet specifications.


Minimum Skill Set:
No specific certification is needed to become a CNC Programmer. Employers expect CNC Programmers to have familiarity with computers, computer programming, electronics, machine tools, and metalworks. The National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) has begun circulating a standard curriculum for CNC Programmers. Students completing the curriculum can take a practical and written exam that, if passed, provides them with a professional certification. The level of education required to become a CNC Programmer varies depending on the level of the job. Entry-level CNC programmers require no formal training and are often taught all the necessary skills on-the-job.


Links: CNC Programmer Salary, Various CNC Programmer Salaries

  • 38K
  • 48K
  • 52K

Salary Range

CNC Machinists/Operators


CNC operator machinists oversee the CNC machines that shape parts from metal or plastic. They must interpret blueprints, manuals and other work instructions. They also study sample parts to determine dimensions of finished work pieces and CNC equipment setup requirements. They then set the machine and load it with the correct cutting tools. CNC operator machinists inspect work pieces throughout a production run. In addition, machinists measure and mark dimensions and reference points on material or work pieces as a guide for subsequent machining.

CNC operator machinists additionally clean and perform basic preventative maintenance functions on machines, tooling and parts. They must work safely to prevent on-the-job injuries, which includes wearing personal protective equipment such as safety glasses.They also inspect cutting tools for sharpness and usability. These professionals additionally detect malfunctions using precision measuring instruments such as micrometers, dial calipers, depth gages, indicators, and scales, according to T3 Energy Services. They might have to communicate with supervisors, engineers, production control employees and other personnel for assignments, and to resolve machining or quality issues as well.


Minimum Skill Set:
CNC operator machinists should be able to lift heavy equipment using hoists, hand trucks conveyors, and lifts. They also must have knowledge of tool holders, cutting tools, fixtures and other accessories used on various machines. These professionals additionally must have strong oral and written communication skills, and be able to follow verbal and written instructions well. Those who have some programming experience have an advantage. CNC operator machinists must be able to stand for long periods and be adaptable to a changing work environment as well. Machinists also must be open to being exposed to noise, fumes, and varying temperatures. They must be able to perform repetitive motions and must have strong finger dexterity. Additionally, these people should have basic math skills that include geometry and algebra to calculate material fabrication.

No specific education requirements exist to become a CNC operator machinist, but a CNC operator machinist usually must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training are common. Some employers also look for job candidates who have at least a few months' experience in a relevant manufacturing environment or who have completed a training program offered by some companies. Companies might want people with experience operating lathes and milling machines along with precision measuring instruments. CNC operator machinists undergo continued training regarding software and machinery upgrades as well.


Links: Job Description of a CNC Operator Machinist, Various CNC Operator Salaries

  • 34K
  • 42K
  • 50K

Salary Range

Assembler


Position, align, fasten, and install piping, fixtures, or wiring and electrical components to form assemblies or subassemblies, using hand tools, rivet guns, and welding equipment. Construct or assemble an entire product or component of a product.


Minimum Skill Set:
The average Assembly worker needs basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills in order to obtain an assembly job where they can be a good producer on the assembly line. These skills are normally learned through high school so a diploma or equivalent is all that is normally required for an Assembly line worker. The Assembly line work needs manual dexterity for operating machines and computers. Most Assembly workers need to be able to lift thirty pounds or more.


Links: Assembler Salary, Assembler Job Description

  • 19K
  • 28K
  • 42K

Salary Range

Entry Level Manufacturer


Average entry level manufacturing jobs can vary greatly due to company, location, and industry.


Minimum Skill Set:
Entry level manufacturing skills can vary greatly due to company, location, & industry.


Links: Manufacturing Technician

  • 23K
  • 29K
  • 39K

Salary Range

Quality Control


A QC job can include measuring whether existing products meet a set quality standards, planning how often sampling will be performed, determining the standards by which quality will be judged and/or establishing how products and processes will be improved to meet quality standards.


Minimum Skill Set:
Engineering technicians who work as QC inspectors, testers, and samplers usually have an associate's degree in engineering technology. Quality control opportunities run the gamut from unskilled, entry-level jobs to professional career paths. Minimum qualifications vary according to industry; inspectors for a clothing manufacturer may need to have only have high school diplomas while a pharmaceutical company may require degrees or certifications.


Links: Quality Control Job Description, Quality Control Analyst Salary, How to Get Into Quality Control

  • 33K
  • 46K
  • 68K

Salary Range

Mechanic (industrial)


An entry-level industrial mechanics technician fabricates/repairs machinery, troubleshoots, installs, inspects, and maintains industrial equipment using mechanical, electrical/electronic, fluid power, and electromechanical technologies.


Minimum Skill Set:
Communicate effectively with team members both verbally and written, read and follow instructions; demonstrate basic computer skills; follow safety procedures and codes as required, read and follow federal and state regulations; interpret manufacturer's drawings; e.g., electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic schematics, ladder logic, read blueprints, perform basic electrical procedures; select/use proper tools, recognize potential problems, observe, compile, and record data Keep accurate records. Communicate effectively with team members both verbally and written, read and follow instructions; demonstrate basic computer skills; follow safety procedures and codes as required, read and follow federal and state regulations; interpret manufacturer's drawings; e.g., electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic schematics, ladder logic, read blueprints, perform basic electrical procedures; select/use proper tools, recognize potential problems, observe, compile, and record data, and keep accurate records. (for a full list, see the first link below)


Links: NEED PDF!, Industrial Machinery Mechanic Overview, Industrial Machinery Mechanic Salary

  • 35K
  • 42K
  • 68K

Salary Range