What Are The Skills Needed To Be Successful In A Manufacturing Career?

A Career in Manufacturing in NH

Do You Have What's Needed For A Manufacturing Career? 

If So You Can Expect Job Growth, Stability, Training Opportunities, And Excellent Wages!

Manufacturing is a growing sector of the U.S. economy, especially here in New Hampshire. Firms like Hitchiner Manufacturing are regularly hiring new staff at various levels, from fresh out of high school to those with college degrees and years of experience, to others looking to make a career change. With roughly 237,000 job openings now available in the manufacturing industry across the country, more and more people are considering manufacturing for its good pay, reliable hours, and challenging work.

So what does it take to work in the manufacturing industry? Here are some things to consider if you are looking at a career in manufacturing.

Brush Up on Your Math and Tech Skills

Remember when your parents made you take algebra, and you thought, "When am I ever going to use this?" If you're interested in a manufacturing career, chances are you'll use it often. 

For most manufacturing jobs, basic math skills are essential. If you end up working in a job where you are designing complex parts, for example, you will need to know mathematical terms, such as diameter and radius. You may also be asked to calculate angles and total dimensions of a product, so having some knowledge of algebra and trigonometry are a bonus.

Today's manufacturing relies heavily on the use of computers. Sometimes referred to as advanced manufacturing, the industry now uses machines run on various computer programs to accomplish tasks, even utilizing robots at some facilities. Computer programming is a desirable skill often sought in candidates for manufacturing jobs, especially when so much of manufacturing today depends on automation.

It's Not STEM. It's STEAM.

Schools are continuing to emphasize science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills throughout the curriculum, but some schools are also adding an "a" to the acronym that stands for "arts." Including arts education has proven to help people approach problems creatively, whether it is being able to sketch a prototype or visualize something in 3 dimensions. 

Successful manufacturing companies value employee input, whether designing a product or improving processes. If one of our employees sees a way to reduce material waste or improve yield in the casting process by even a fraction, we want to know. This change could save the company thousands of dollars a month and help reduce our carbon footprint. Seeing manufacturing through a different lens is not considered a detriment but as an asset.

Having excellent communication skills and understanding of English can also be incredibly helpful to your manufacturing career. A good vocabulary, excellent writing skills, and the ability to read and comprehend complex materials will all come in useful, not only on the job, but when you are applying for jobs as well. At work, being able to communicate clearly in a manner that can be understood by others makes the process go smoother, and helps you express your ideas in a way that ensures they’re given serious consideration.

Other Skills to Excel in A Manufacturing Career

Knowing how to be someone your co-workers can depend on to get the job done is a huge factor in building a successful manufacturing career. Showing up to work on time, approaching the job with a positive attitude, and striving to meet performance goals may seem like no-brainers to some, but for a small segment of the population, these attributes do not come naturally.

When you don't show up to work on time, for example, you are not providing your team with the support it needs to succeed. Manufacturing can often have tight deadlines to meet just in time production goals and deliver to clients on time. Being present and attentive on the job, responding to co-workers and superiors when they need a hand or have a question are all essential to success. Being clear-headed also prevents accidents. Safety is taken very seriously and anything that puts that in jeopardy, including a sleepy employee, will not be tolerated.

Attention to detail is another often undervalued skill we at Hitchiner are looking for. We are proud of the high-quality of our products and want to continue to assure each part is made up to standard. Having a keen attention to detail helps ensure this, as well as spot errors should they arise.

If you think you have the skills mentioned here to succeed in a manufacturing career, check out the Hitchiner Manufacturing career page for our available jobs.