While more than 3.4 million manufacturing jobs are expected to become available in the next decade, over half may remain unfilled due to a shortage of qualified workers with the necessary skills. In fact, it’s estimated that almost three times as many skilled manufacturing positions are posted than filled right now.
So what should you do to prepare yourself to land the perfect manufacturing job — today, as well as in the future? Here are five ways to make yourself a stronger candidate.
ask about apprenticeships and training programs
As manufacturers struggle to fill open positions, many have decided to create in-house apprenticeships or training programs. Most of these programs are targeted at high school seniors as an alternative to college, but others exist as on-the-job training open to employees of all ages.
The added bonus? Anything you learn is a skill you can take with you as you move up in the organization or move on to other opportunities.
try a trade school
Vocational or trade schools are focused on hands-on learning from professionals who have spent years in the field. Even better, most of these programs can be completed in as little as two years.
Plus, you’ll be able to test for skilled trade certifications — and that might be the ticket to your next job offer.
leverage being bilingual
Skilled manufacturing workers who are fluent in another language — particularly Spanish, Chinese or German — are extremely valuable to global employers. And if you get a chance to communicate with team members from around the world, you’ll begin to develop a big-picture view of operations, which might translate to leadership opportunities.
focus on STEM skills
There's a big push today to educate workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, as the 2018 White House State–Federal STEM Education Summit makes clear. The idea is that these are skill areas where a lot of job growth will take place in the coming years, and that’s going to impact manufacturing workers, too.
For instance, manufacturers are increasingly replacing repetitive tasks and physical labor with more sophisticated processes that embrace automation and computerized machinery.
But the good news is that you can sharpen your STEM skills in a number of different ways, including online learning, apprenticeships, trade schools and on-the-job training.
don’t forget the basics
Employers will always be looking for people who can communicate effectively — verbally as well as in writing — and who are reliable, adaptable and able to think critically.
These are skills that will come across in your resume and in the way you present yourself in an interview. They’re also things you can practice and perfect over time. And if your resume is in need of a reboot, consider having it professionally written by the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service.
As always, there is high demand for manufacturing workers who are mindful of how the field is evolving and eager to learn, whether in the classroom or through on-the-job training.
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