Manufacturing & Industrial Planning

Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the earnings of workers in the machinery manufacturing industry are relatively high, primarily because of the high productivity of workers in this industry. Median weekly earnings in 2004 for production workers in machinery manufacturing were $700, compared with $659 for the manufacturing sector as a whole and $529 for all industries.

Facts at a glance

  • High productivity growth is expected to keep employment growth low, but many openings will result from the need to replace workers who retire.
  • Production workers, who account for over half of all jobs in the industry, increasingly need training beyond the high school level.
  • Machinery manufacturing has some of the most highly skilled—and highly paid—production jobs in manufacturing. 
  • Job prospects should be favorable for skilled production workers.

Summary of what this career entails

The majority of manufacture employees work 8 hours shift, and 5 days a week, although they work overtime if they are needed, to meet deadlines. Machinery encompasses a vast range of products, ranging from huge industrial machines costing millions of dollars to the common lawn mower, but all machinery has one common defining feature: it either reduces or eliminates the amount of human work required to accomplish a task.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Examples and or details of work

Engineering managers develop a concept of what a new machine could do or how it can be improved, while mechanical engineers design the moving parts of the machine. Mechanical drafters create a plan that production workers use, while metal and plastic workers create various parts that are needed for the production.

Degrees that lead to this career

The minimal degree an individual can attain is an associate’s degree. Some of the degrees individuals can achieve include:

  • A.S. in Industrial Distribution
  • A.S. in Industrial Technology
  • B.S. of Business Administration in Operations Management
  • M.S. of Business Administration in Operations Management
  • M.S. of Business Administration- Industrial Management
  • M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions that can be available for individuals who want a career in manufacturing & industrial planning include engineering managers, mechanical engineering technicians, mechanical drafters, industrial production managers, metal workers and plastic workers, electrical engineering, and much more others.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2006-07 Edition, Machinery Manufacturing, on the Internet at