Working in manufacturing

Manufacturing is all about making things. Space shuttles, cars and trains have to be manufactured, along with all their smaller components.

In fact, anything that needs to be produced in large quantities is part of the manufacturing industry. Medicines, new materials, food products, make-up and clothes have to be manufactured too. Jobs in manufacturing fall into four main areas: product research and development, design, production and distribution. Manufacturing is not just about production lines and machinery. Wine producer, food flavour technician and textiles technologist are all career options too.

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Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Many entry level jobs in manufacturing start at around £13,000 per year.

To work in a management role, you will need to gain some relevant experience first.

Pay levels graph

Future careers

Advanced manufacturing uses science and technology to improve products and processes. It is an industry that looks to the future. All manufacturing companies have to look ahead and respond to the needs of their customers. New materials, nanotechnologies, hydrogen fuel cells and robotics are areas where you might find new opportunities in the future.

Things to consider

Things you may need to know:

  • Engineers, scientists and managers are needed to lead the manufacturing process.
  • Technology may have replaced some of the old jobs in manufacturing, but skilled staff are still needed to program, fix and adapt equipment.
  • Some manufacturing work might be in noisy factories, but new technologies mean that many manufacturing jobs can be quiet and clean.

Useful links

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National Careers Service

Information on a wide range of manufacturing careers