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Thousands of manufacturing companies in southwestern Pennsylvania are eager to employ adults who enjoy working with their hands and solving problems. The average salary for employees working in manufacturing is $72,000. Some of the most in-demand jobs are: machinists, mechanics, engineers, assemblers, welders, and many more. These jobs often will need some training or certification but most do not require a four-year degree.

Industry 4.0 is shifting the way products are manufactured and the types of careers that are needed in manufacturing. Technology often performs heavy lifting and repetitive tasks but workers need to know how to use the technology. Workers who perform well can often move to positions with higher pay. Employers will often pay for training needed to advance. There are many ways that a job seeker or current employee can gain skills through training and education. Many schools offer vocational courses at the high school level. Training centers, labor unions and community colleges offer certificates, apprenticeships and degrees for free or at a reasonable cost. Colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees or higher in specialized career paths including: engineering, accounting, biology and chemistry.

Which of These Sounds Like YOU?

Entry Level

Requires High School diploma and little to no manufacturing experience.

Key attributes of an excellent entry level employee include: regular attendance, timeliness, work ethic, compliant with drug requirements and basic mechanical skills.
Job seekers will find jobs in assembly, packaging and distribution. Wages are typically paid hourly with opportunities to earn overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week.

Technical Production

Requires post-secondary education and on-the-job training.

An excellent technical production employee will also need regular attendance, timeliness, work ethic, and compliance with drug requirements. The mechanical skills will be more advanced and specialized that might include: coding, welding, CNC operation or other capabilities. The certificate or degree needed is usually earned between one and two years of training. Most technical production certifications are recognized widely by employers all around the country. Each company provides on-the-job training and tribal knowledge that is specific to that job.


Typically require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Managers and leaders often have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a college or university in a field such as business, quality or logistics. Additionally, managers and leaders usually have experience and skills of the workers who report to them. This is often the level where successful technical production employees advance. Managers need to have advanced communication and negotiation skills along with sales, finance, logistics and human resource capabilities. Leaders need to have a vision for the direction of the company and the ability to inspire the rest of the company to follow them.


Require bachelors or advanced degrees.

Engineering and professional positions fill specialized roles throughout a manufacturing company. Engineers design the products and address issues with production. Other professionals work in departments such as product sales, shipping and personnel.

Not Sure Which Career?