The Benefits of Working in Manufacturing

Whether you are graduating from high school, college, know somebody who is, or you are looking for a change in careers, the manufacturing industry is something to seriously consider.  Here in Southwest Virginia, there are over 380 manufacturers, many of which are regularly looking for talented, hard working employees.  Below are six reasons why you should consider working in the manufacturing industry:

1. High Paying Jobs:

In Southwest Virginia, the average annual salary is around 34,000 dollars. Manufacturing workers make nearly 10,000 dollars more than that a year with an average salary of 44,000 dollars a year.  This salary difference isn’t just in Southwest Virginia.  Throughout the United States, manufacturing workers make 7% more annually than all other services and industries (and that’s not counting employee benefits like insurance and retirement).

2. Job Availability:

80% of the manufacturing workforce is aged 45-60 years old. This means that manufacturers will be looking to fill up to 80% of their positions over the next few years.  Also, the current economic recovery has witnessed a nearly unprecedented return in manufacturing job growth. Manufacturing has increased by nearly 500,000 jobs; the strongest rebound since the recessions of the early 1980s. The number of job openings has spiked by over 200 percent. Part of this can be attributed to companies moving their manufacturing facilities back to the United States for quality reasons.  Manufacturing needs new, young talent with the skills to meet its high-tech demands.

3. Benefits:

Another benefit to working in manufacturing is the actual “benefits.” Manufacturing workers usually have significant, highly-valued employer-provided benefits, including medical insurance and retirement plans. Taking these into account, manufacturing workers make nearly 15% more annually than all other services and industries.

4. Hire from Within:

Manufacturers are known for hiring from within.  That means when an upper level position opens up, manufacturing companies normally promote employees to fill the position rather than looking outside the company.  That means even if you start out at an entry level position, if you work hard and are dependable, you more than likely won’t be there long.  This benefits you and the company, it’s is much easier to move somebody up that already knows the ins and outs of the business rather than training somebody brand new.

5. Positive Economic Impact:

There are over 12 million manufacturing jobs in the United States, that’s nearly 10% of the workforce.  Taken alone, manufacturing in the United States is the 9th largest economy in the world, contributing over 2.17 trillion dollars to the United States economy annually. Furthermore, for every manufacturing job created, 2.5 more jobs are created in goods and services. Manufacturing also has the second largest marginal economic impact in the Southwest Virginia region’s economy.  1.5 manufacturing jobs equals 1 lost coal job.

6. Innovation:

Manufacturing is not only high paying and dependable, it is also an exciting and innovative career choice.  Manufacturing companies are responsible for most of the research and development (R&D) in the United States.  The technology that Americans use on a daily basis can be largely attributed technological breakthroughs in the manufacturing industry.

FINAL College #Made in SWVA Graphic (1)

For more information visit the SVAM website! 

To learn more about working in manufacturing visit

Or, for information about job openings in the region, visit


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