When you're thinking about getting into the manufacturing industry, you may have concerns that the skills required to succeed in the field create a difficult barrier to entry. In some ways, that's true, because you will likely need some technical proficiency to hit the ground running. However, there are many more skills that are applicable to lots of career paths that will serve you well in manufacturing for many years to come.
The following are some of the skills you'll need to succeed in the manufacturing sector:
1) Basic machining
Obviously, one of the biggest parts of entry-level jobs is actually working on machines to produce the items companies manufacture every single day, according to Emsi. Many of these aren't necessarily all that complicated, but they do take practice to get just right.
2) Familiarity with technology
Much like basic machining skills, you'll also have to have at least some experience in dealing with the actual technology your unique company uses to manufacture its products, Emsi said. There tends to be a lot of overlap in the machines that do things like welding, stamping, cutting and more, so while it's not a situation of, "If you've used one, you've used them all," it's not far off, either.
3) Corrective and preventive actions
A great manufacturing worker has a kind of "feel" for the process that they develop over time, and when something with the machine is a bit off, it shouldn't be too difficult to tell, Emsi further added. Once that determination is made, workers should also know how to correct it, or at least who to alert to the problem.
4) Critical thinking and problem solving
Likewise, it's important for manufacturing employees to be able to identify when problems arise — whether during the planning stage for new products or just as that process gets underway — and be able to "game them out" so the issue can be corrected, according to Apple Rubber. Indeed, workers often know what works and what doesn't better than the people at the top, simply because they're the ones doing the work every day.
5) Teamwork skills
When you work in manufacturing, it quickly becomes clear that you are a small cog in a much bigger machine, Apple Rubber noted. But like any machine, even one small problem related to interpersonal dealings or miscommunications can unnecessarily cause huge difficulties. You need people skills to overcome many of them.
6) Comfort with appropriate software
There are all types of software programs companies of all shapes and sizes rely on every day, according to Goodwin University. While you may not know every single one at your new company, you should give yourself time to get familiar, but make sure you come in with a solid base of knowledge first.
7) Physical fitness
Finally, manufacturing can be a physically demanding job in some settings, and you need to make sure your body is up to the challenge, Goodwin University cautioned. Something as simple as stretching before work can go a long way toward keeping you happy, limber and comfortable in a factory setting.