Gearing Up for a Career in Manufacturing

by Rachel Vilsack

If you think manufacturing is just production jobs, think again! Manufacturing in Minnesota also includes careers in engineering, logistics and distribution, maintenance and repair, and business, management and administration. Manufacturing facilities are often great places to work; they are clean, bright, and have amazing high-tech equipment.


Here is a sampling of jobs you’ll find in Minnesota’s manufacturing firms:

  • Team assemblers
  • Supervisors of production workers
  • Machinists
  • Welders
  • Assemblers and fabricators
  • Production helpers
  • Inspectors
  • Sales representatives
  • Customer service representatives
  • Shipping clerks
  • Industrial machinery mechanics
  • Freight and stock material movers
  • Industrial engineers
  • Operations managers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Office clerks
  • Industrial truck and tractor operators
  • Bookkeeping and accounting clerks
  • Truck drivers
  • Purchasing agents


What Employers Want

This year, employers from around the state participated in conversations to address the state’s growing skills gap. These Workforce Assessments sessions were championed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and local chambers across the state, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota Initiative Foundations, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and other private, public, and non-profit organizations.


Minnesota manufacturers identified these skills as key to their future workforce:

  • Math
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to learn
  • Project management


You can learn more on what matters to Minnesota’s manufacturing employers on Employers Speak, a new web tool with specific quotes from real employers who participated in the workforce assessment sessions.


Get Ready

If you are interested in pursuing a manufacturing-related career, there are many training and job opportunities available to you:



There are a lot of reasons – and great benefits – to consider a career in manufacturing. Do you have what it takes?



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