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Take Another Look at Manufacturing Careers

How many times have you been asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” If you’re not sure what to answer — but are sure that traditional college (and college debt) aren’t right for you, right now — consider Manufacturing.

Nearly one in every 10 private sector workers in RI work in Manufacturing. Here are some reasons to take a second look at a career Making What Matters — and some resources for jump starting your future, today.

Good Benefits, Good Pay

A common misconception is that manufacturing jobs don’t pay as much as other jobs, but that’s simply not true. These jobs often pay better than entry-level jobs in different industries.

For example, in Rhode Island the average manufacturing worker makes $24/hour. There is often the opportunity to earn more with overtime and some companies also provide monthly and quarterly competitive bonuses. Plus, don’t forget the benefits like healthcare and paid time off.

Brenda enrolled in a paid training program to become a CNC Machinist. She says now

“I’m actually on time with my bills because I’m actually making enough money to pay ’em!”

Interesting Work, Making What Matters

In manufacturing, you know exactly how your work matters. The products you create are real. And they have a real impact on real lives.

(Don’t believe us? Think back to the great toilet paper shortage of 2020.)

There’s something fulfilling about making something tangible that you can hold or use. Products made in Rhode Island are found on the store shelves, in undersea vehicles, on the space station … You also could take pride in making products that help others such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals and more.

New Technologies

Manufacturers are constantly adding new technologies to improve productivity, quality and safety. Some examples include

  • 3D printing,
  • robotics,
  • data analytics,
  • internet of things (IoT) connectivity,
  • blockchain, and more.

Be on the cutting edge with new technology.

Find Your Group

Compared to a desk job where you may spend the day sitting in one place, a manufacturing job can keep you moving — you might assemble items, move products, or even operate machinery.

No matter where you work within a company, you’ll be collaborating with a diverse team. Sabrina is a designer at a leading-edge composite technologies company. She says

“It’s a huge community, it’s a huge family and I absolutely love it.”

You might even find work at a company that matches one of your personal interests. For example, if you are a motorsports fan you could work in automotive manufacturing. Or if you like technology, you could join other gadget-lovers in building the next must-have device.

Ready to do what you love, love what you do?

The RI manufacturing industry is experiencing a skills gap – we’ve got more available jobs than there are qualified workers. This means there’s a high demand for hardworking , creative employees. In fact, it’s estimated that there will be 3.5 million new skilled manufacturing jobs created in the next decade.

Click here to explore manufacturing careers postings at Skills for Rhode Island’s Future.

Never Stop Growing

“I’m happy to wake up every day, I’m happy to go to work every day. I’m learning something new, legit, every single day.” – Craig, robotics manufacturing 

Most manufacturing companies are willing to do on-the-job training. This is a great way to try several different types of jobs to determine what works best for you, plus no student debt.

And while you may start your career in manufacturing in an entry-level production role, there are opportunities for growth. Most companies prefer to promote from within and many have defined career pathways.

There are a number of state-sponsored programs to help you get started, upskill and advance your career.

Jump Start Your Future with Training!

There are number of ways you can gain skills and kick-off a manufacturing career with “learning by doing” programs funded by the State of Rhode Island and others. 

Polaris MEP’s Fast Track to Manufacturing is one. Students are actually PAID to acquire technical skills, gain CCRI credits and job shadow at two manufacturing companies! AND at the end of the first phase of this bootcamp, you receive additional support as you interview and get started in a new job.

Click on the “Jump Start” image to download a PDF with an overview of three popular training programs: Fast Track to Manufacturing, SAMI and We Make RI.

JOB BOARDS – 100s of Openings … NOW!

There are currently 100s of Rhode Island companies ready to welcome you with good pay and benefits, on-the-job skills training, and a chance to begin to make your mark. Click on either image below for current openings.

Skills for RI’s Future

skillsforri - open manufacturing jobs

Rhode Island Manufacturers Association