today's best manufacturing and logistics jobs.

What are the best manufacturing and logistics jobs available today? What kind of experience, certifications and skills does it take to land them? You'll find answers to all of that (and then some) below.

what you need to know

There were 2.5 million manufacturing and logistics jobs posted last year. Even with the global pandemic, these areas just keep growing. In fact, if you look at a number of different factors — skyrocketing e-commerce sales around the world, for example — there are a lot of good reasons to expect ongoing growth in 2021 and beyond. Keep reading to find out more about some of the best jobs in manufacturing and logistics and the skills you need to land them.

best manufacturing and logistics jobs

assemblers

Have you ever wondered who puts goods and products together before they can ship to customers? That’s where assemblers fit in. Assemblers have always been a crucial part of the process, but what's new today is how much employers value people with tech skills for this role. For example, leading companies often hire assemblers to work side by side with state-of-the-art robots. With the right skills to increase productivity, assemblers are a shoe-in for our list of the best manufacturing and logistics jobs in 2021.

forklift operators

Forklift operators continue to be in heavy demand — and equally hard to find — for manufacturing and logistics employers. This is good news for experienced forklift operators, who will find plenty of new opportunities to advance their careers in 2021. But if you're interested in breaking into the field, you should be aware that safety training, together with some form of licensure or certification, is often required.
 

materials handler

New opportunities for materials handlers — as well as new specialties — continue to emerge in both the manufacturing and logistics sectors. For example, there are now niche opportunities for refuse and recyclable material collectors, stock and material movers and more. This growth trend is unlikely to slow down or go away any time soon, which is a good sign for materials handlers — and the reason they made our list of the best jobs in manufacturing and logistics for 2021.

picker/packers

With e-commerce booming globally, pickers and packers are more in demand than ever. These hands-on professionals have to know the lay of the land, carefully adhering to the specifics of each individual order while still carrying out their work on deadline. Note that these two titles are often used interchangeably in job descriptions, so if you've had success in one in the past, you're probably a good fit for the other.
 

warehouse workers

Warehouse workers come in all shapes and sizes: pickers, packers, sorters, loaders and more, all with their own unique responsibilities. So if you aren't sure exactly where you would fit in a warehouse environment, know that there's still likely to be a role for you. Plus, most of the key skills required for success are conveniently broken down below. They should give you a sense of whether or not you're a good match for a job in a warehouse.
 

assemblers

Have you ever wondered who puts goods and products together before they can ship to customers? That’s where assemblers fit in. Assemblers have always been a crucial part of the process, but what's new today is how much employers value people with tech skills for this role. For example, leading companies often hire assemblers to work side by side with state-of-the-art robots. With the right skills to increase productivity, assemblers are a shoe-in for our list of the best manufacturing and logistics jobs in 2021.

forklift operators

Forklift operators continue to be in heavy demand — and equally hard to find — for manufacturing and logistics employers. This is good news for experienced forklift operators, who will find plenty of new opportunities to advance their careers in 2021. But if you're interested in breaking into the field, you should be aware that safety training, together with some form of licensure or certification, is often required.

materials handler

New opportunities for materials handlers — as well as new specialties — continue to emerge in both the manufacturing and logistics sectors. For example, there are now niche opportunities for refuse and recyclable material collectors, stock and material movers and more. This growth trend is unlikely to slow down or go away any time soon, which is a good sign for materials handlers — and the reason they made our list of the best jobs in manufacturing and logistics for 2021.

picker/packers

With e-commerce booming globally, pickers and packers are more in demand than ever. These hands-on professionals have to know the lay of the land, carefully adhering to the specifics of each individual order while still carrying out their work on deadline. Note that these two titles are often used interchangeably in job descriptions, so if you've had success in one in the past, you're probably a good fit for the other.

warehouse workers

Warehouse workers come in all shapes and sizes: pickers, packers, sorters, loaders and more, all with their own unique responsibilities. So if you aren't sure exactly where you would fit in a warehouse environment, know that there's still likely to be a role for you. Plus, most of the key skills required for success are conveniently broken down below. They should give you a sense of whether or not you're a good match for a job in a warehouse.

best manufacturing and logistics skills and certifications

communication skills

Communicating clearly and effectively is going to be a core requirement of nearly any job these days. In most manufacturing and logistics environments, this means being able to follow instructions, work productively with your colleagues and communicate any issues or challenges you encounter.

detail oriented

The little things in life often make all the difference — and that's equally true in the context of manufacturing and logistics worksites, where paying attention to details will help in any number of ways. And when you're working with heavy machinery and moving parts, it's also an important factor in risk, safety and accident prevention.

forklift operation

Forklifts are the engines of many manufacturing and logistics worksites. These powerful tools move items across warehouses and factory floors, transporting loads many times heavier than what most people could carry. Given that power, of course, safety is also a primary concern whenever forklifts are involved. For that reason, this is another skill area where undergoing some form of training may be a prerequisite for you to get hired.

hand tools

Being hands-on in manufacturing and logistics roles is seldom a figure of speech. Good with handheld tools like drills, wrenches and saws? Good. There are manufacturing and logistics roles out there for you.

labeling packages

Labeling takes more than just putting a sticker on a box or crate. You may be dealing with many — hundreds or even thousands, potentially — of different types of packages or products. Getting it right requires careful work and concentration.

loading

Loading is an important step in the workflow at many manufacturing and logistics worksites. It's the preparatory step that occurs immediately prior to a given action — before the forklift driver can move the pallet, for example, someone has to help load it.

mechanical assembly

This sounds fancy, but it's really quite simple. "Mechanical assembly" just means following written or verbal instructions to construct a finished product, or parts of a finished product, using various predetermined materials.

moving goods

Moving goods isn't for the faint of heart. In manufacturing and logistics environments, it's going to require physical strength, stamina and a good deal of conditioning — because these items might be heavy! You'll also need to work carefully and follow proper lifting procedures in order to keep your worksite safe and avoid injury.

operation monitoring

"Operation monitoring" refers to all of the leadership responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of, say, a plant supervisor, which means, for the managerially inclined, this is a key skill area. It's also one that builds upon a number of other vital soft skills: time management, situational awareness, interpersonal skills and more.

order pulling/packing

When it comes to order pulling or packing, speed is the name of the game. You'll need to correctly identify the locations of all the items in an order, neatly gather them together and then pack them so they're ready to ship.

picking/packing

You'll find "picking" and "packing" used more or less interchangeably on a lot of job boards. These functions include a lot of the core work that goes on at manufacturing and logistics worksites every day, requiring you to track down items or products related to an order and then pack them up so they're ready to ship.

reading comprehension

You won't have to deconstruct War and Peace, but many roles in manufacturing and logistics — any that involve mechanical assembly, for example — will require you to carefully read and follow instructions, which may be verbal or written. That's why basic reading comprehension is often essential. In the event that English isn't your native tongue, not to worry: These instructions are often available in more than one language. Just talk to your supervisor.

scanners

"Scanners" refers to different things in different work environments, but probably the most common example is the RFID reader — a handheld radio frequency transmitter that can read information from RFID tags on products or components. These scanners come in handy (pun intended) in large warehouse environments when workers need to find specific items or products in a hurry. In other words, using them is an indispensable skill in the modern manufacturing and logistics environment.

soldering

Soldering is the joining of two or more items by melting a filler metal and using it as a joint. It's also a highly skilled craft. No surprise, then, that this is another area where certification, safety training or some kind of licensure may be required for you to get the job.

sorting

Sorting may sound simple, but it's an essential part of nearly any work stream. Your goal is to visually inspect and identify items or products, then pass them along to the appropriate next stage in the process.

stocking

In manufacturing and logistics, "stocking" refers to the ongoing replenishment of goods, materials and resources around the worksite. This typically happens on a regularly scheduled cadence — say, twice daily, or every other Monday. A lot of that will be determined by demand, as well as the relative production velocity of your worksite.

warehouse

Warehouses are simply large buildings where products are stored and prepared for shipment. They frequently serve as important distribution hubs as well. Knowing your way around one — and knowing how to do that safely — is a key skill in today's manufacturing and logistics environments.

show more skills and certifications
person in front of a screen

find a manufacturing and logistics job that matches your skills

All of the manufacturing and logistics jobs for 2021 listed above are great opportunities to grow in your career, but they're a far cry from the only opportunities available in this booming industry with Randstad. Haven't found exactly what you're looking for so far? No sweat. Click the link below to check out all of the open manufacturing and logistics positions available right now.

let's connect

Want to receive regular updates about job openings in manufacturing and logistics? If so, you should click below to join Randstad today. We'll do the rest — and start sending you customized alerts for roles that align with your skill set and interests whenever they become available.