If you’ve always loved to design and make things, whether with your hands or on a computer screen, then the world of manufacturing could well be for you. It’s a wide and varied industry, with a huge number of roles and avenues, so you need to think wisely if you’re going to make a success of yourself.
Choosing a Path
The first step is working out what it is that you want to do, because as we’ve mentioned, there are a lot of options. Probably the biggest divider is whether you want to actually physically use your hands to make things, or if you’d prefer to be the person behind the scenes who inputs computer scripts into CNC machinery that ultimately does that manufacturing. Neither option is better than the other; it’s simply a matter of personal preference as to what you like working with. Some materials and industries are more likely to do one rather than the other, so if you’ve got something specific in mind, then it’s well worth doing some good research beforehand to find out which path to take.
Training is the next most important thing, and is likely to be informed by what you’ve already decided. Now, again there are lots of options here, because on the one hand you could spend a long time getting qualifications and learning before entering the industry at a higher level, or you could enter as soon as possible, and learn on the job. This is a matter of personal preference, but also what’s available to you at the time. A good option could be to get some smaller qualifications before you enter the world of work, and then get your employer to pay for the larger ones as you progress in your career, as they can potentially be quite expensive.
Finding a Role
Finally, you’re ready to search for the job you want. Use all of the job boards that you usually would for this – it’s no different. Be mindful of the skills that you’ve got, and whether the companies you’re looking at are likely to help you improve them. Manufacturing can change rapidly, and it helps if you’ve got the latest abilities, and are familiar working with the next-generation’s products and equipment – you don’t want to enter a business that’s working on products that are soon to be defunct, as not all skills will be transferrable.