A wide variety of jobs are available in the industrial machinery/components industry. Some of these jobs require a college degree (such as an engineer), but others don’t require more than a high school diploma (such as a crane operator). As technology progresses, the available jobs and the human roles they offer are changing as well. In any case, a job in the industrial machinery/components industry can lead to a good career path.
The Industrial Revolution was one of the most significant events in recent history. Starting in the U.K. in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was founded on the idea of converting heat and movement into energy, and most scholars agree it was the catalyst that propelled humanity into the modern age, spawning an era of manufacturing that persists to this day.
Today, industrial capacity is used to measure the health and size of an economy. And among the most important factors of these production processes are the industrial machinery and components involved in the manufacturing of goods.
What is the industrial machinery/components industry?
Industrial machines require a variety of components to operate. To make the manufacturing process as cost-effective as possible, the components used in any industrial machine must be of the utmost quality.
Thanks to this and an ever-increasing increase in industrial production worldwide, there is a plethora of employment opportunities available in the industrial machinery and equipment industry, ranging from white-collar jobs (e.g., engineers, research and development in the industry) to blue-collar jobs (e.g. crane operators).
Because modern manufacturing methods often require a good understanding of computer technology, most workers with these valuable skills will find opportunities for career growth in the industrial machinery and components industry. Jobs in the industrial components industry also tend to offer decent benefits.
How many jobs are there in industrial machinery?
In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated there were 501,500 jobs in industrial machinery, with a job outlook of 19%, which is much faster than other sectors. Clearly, the industrial machinery/components industry is growing rapidly, with no signs of slowing down!
As Elon Musk once said, “the true difficulty — and where the greatest potential is — is building the machine that makes the machine.” He was referring to the challenges and potential of building machines that enable industrial production at scale.
As factories become more complex and technology becomes more advanced, demand for skilled labor to design and build industrial machinery and components will only increase. Jobs in industrial machinery are generally split into two categories: white collar and blue collar.
White-collar jobs in the industrial machinery/components industry
White-collar jobs in industrial machinery typically require minimal physical labor and higher educational qualifications, such as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Most white-collar jobs in this space will be in engineering, computer programming, supply chain logistics, and soft-skill jobs, such as human resource management.
The following are some examples of white-collar jobs in industrial machinery:
The world always needs engineers, particularly in industrial production and manufacturing. The more complex machines become, the higher the demand for skilled engineers with a vast understanding of these machines and their components.
Most universities offer a degree in industrial and production engineering, which can net you an engineering job in industrial machinery. Oregon State University, for example, highlights the value of its industrial engineering program as follows:
Industrial engineers use their knowledge and skills to improve systematic processes through the use of statistical analysis, interpersonal communication, design, planning, quality control, operations management, computer simulation, and problem solving.
The computer revolution gave us all personal computers and laptops, but it also changed the industrial manufacturing world. Automation is an important part of modern industrial production, and where computer programs are involved, there will be high demand for computer programmers.
Computer programmers may need to edit or rewrite specific programs or develop code to incorporate new components into machinery. Generally, industrial computing skills are highly attractive to any employer in the industrial machinery and components industry.
Supply chain logistics coordinator
Businesses with a detailed understanding of their operations know that sometimes components need to be updated or replaced. Therefore, it’s crucial for such businesses to have employees who can coordinate the replacement of such components.
A supply chain logistics coordinator should know not only when components need to be replaced but also how to efficiently source these components so as not to disrupt production. Furthermore, they should have access to a diverse group of suppliers so as to ensure constant access to components when needed.
Although not in as high demand as hard skills like programming, soft skills such as management and customer/client interaction are important to industrial machinery. Some factories or businesses are so large, they have a separate entity that only deals with replacing failing components. Soft skills like personal management and problem-solving are great attributes that can prove indispensable when replacing machine components at scale. Sales skills are also useful for keeping components cost-effective for a business.
Need a side job while you search for a career in the industrial machinery and components industry? Here are some options that may be worth looking into.
Blue-collar jobs in the industrial machinery/components industry
You don’t necessarily need a college degree to work in the industrial machinery and components industry. In fact, there are many jobs with a high demand for more labor-intensive skills, and all you need is a high school diploma.
Examples of blue-collar jobs in industrial machinery include crane operators, welders, and truck drivers.
Crane operator and machinist
Much of the industrial machinery used to make large products — like cars, boats, and large medical devices — is absolutely massive. In most cases, installing components in these products requires they be lifted by a crane. But you couldn’t simply walk up to one of these machines, climb into the front seat, and start operating it without the proper training.
Operating a crane is a highly useful skill in industrial machinery. Depending on the necessary training, a crane operator’s license can take as little as two months to as much as two years to acquire. You can also undergo training for machinery maintenance workers and become an industrial machinery mechanic.
Industrial machines can be quite complex. Loose components can break or shift within a machine. To avoid this, some components need to be welded into the machinery.
Welders have skills that are highly valued in industrial machinery. Examples of available jobs in industrial machinery for people with welding skills include industrial welder, machine building repairs operator, and assembler.
While coordinating supply chain logistics is a white-collar job, a supply chain cannot function without labor to move supplies along the chain. Truck drivers and other workers with direct involvement in the movement of supplies are in high demand in industrial machinery. Some factories even require workers to have a driver’s license in order to drive some of the machinery around.
The labor market for industrial machinery/components
The labor market for industrial machinery and components is vast and constantly changing. Manufacturing facilities, whether brand new or experienced, are constantly in need of both white- and blue-collar workers.
Many jobs are available in industrial machinery, but the market is competitive. You’ll have an advantage when searching for a job if you have a bachelor’s degree or other certification related to the industry — and if you don’t, it’s never too late to get one.
Here are some of the ways you can find jobs in the industrial machinery/components industry.
Online job listings
In the digital age, online job listings are how most of us search for jobs. These are a great way to narrow your search to certain jobs if you have a specific skill. For instance, you can search for jobs in “industrial machinery welding” and find a number of potential employers ready and willing to put your welding skills to good use.
In the competitive industrial machinery/components industry, a good LinkedIn profile that outlines your skills can be highly valuable to prospective employers. Through online searches, most of the jobs you find on your own will be based in your own country. However, industrial production takes place all over the world, particularly in Asia. Your LinkedIn profile can open the doors to job opportunities abroad, so factories in southern China will know you’re a great manufacturing engineer fluent in Mandarin and potentially offer you a job.
Friends and network
Your friends and your network can also help you land a job in the industrial machinery space. For example, imagine you’re interested in working in the production of Coca-Cola. If you happen to have a friend who works for the company, they may be able to connect you with the people responsible for hiring.
Benefits of an industrial machinery career path
The industrial machinery/components industry has plenty of well-paying jobs, but this career path also offers a variety of other benefits. On top of a competitive salary, companies will also offer bonuses that aren’t typically included in a health insurance plan or retirement. Vision and dental plans are often among the ancillary health benefits that give the industrial machinery/components industry some of the best-paying jobs in the labor market.
What are industrial machinery and components?
Industrial machinery refers to the machines that are used to manufacture goods. Components are the parts that make up this industrial equipment.
What are some occupational fields that deal with machinery?
Mechanical engineering and crane operating are some of the occupational fields in the industrial machinery/components industry.
What is SAP in the manufacturing industry?
SAP — short for systems, applications, and products — is a type of software that optimizes resource planning.
What do industrial mechanics do?
Industrial mechanics fix machines and monitor other industrial settings.
What is the study of the skills needed to work with tools and machinery?
For white-collar workers, the study of machinery skills is engineering. For blue-collar workers, certifications in machine operation also increase the job outlook in the industry.
What does an industrial maintenance technician do?
An industrial maintenance technician conducts maintenance on industrial machines or fixes them when they break.
- The industrial machinery/components industry relates to machines used for production and manufacturing as well as the parts used to build those machines.
- Whether you are looking into entry-level positions or jobs with skills in high demand, there are plenty of blue- and white-collar jobs readily available in industrial machinery.
- Online job listings and LinkedIn are great ways to find industrial machinery jobs. You can also use your network of friends, family, and acquaintances to seek out jobs in the industry.
- Aside from high salaries, businesses in the industrial machinery/components industry also offer excellent benefits to their employees.
View Article Sources
- Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- What Do Industrial Engineers Do? – Oregon State University
- Elon Musk goes on a ‘machines building machines’ rant about the future of manufacturing – Electrek
- Side Jobs From Home — SuperMoney