The Manufacturing cluster is about planning, managing and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering. Today, highly automated manufacturing requires extremely technical skills. Employers continue to need machinists as they purchase new equipment, modify production techniques, and implement design changes more rapidly.  Industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers are needed as the use of sophisticated manufacturing machinery requires proper maintenance.

Employment Projections: 2010-2020

The Manufacturing career cluster is projected to grow slowly, by about seven percent, between 2010 and 2020. Even though slow, this growth represents a big change in Manufacturing. This cluster has been losing jobs for decades, and took a huge hit in the recession, but employment has already begun to recover and continued growth is predicted. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in occupations in this cluster will grow from about 10.7 million in 2010 to around 11.4 million in 2020. TheManufacturing cluster is expected to create over 720,000 new jobs and have almost 3 million job openings between 2010 and 2020.

The report Employment Projections for Manufacturing, 2010-2020 includes data on occupations growing faster that the nation average, pathways employment overview, occupations with the most job openings, and employment projections.


Precision Machining Technology

What They Make…
Occupations in this cluster and what they make in Virginia

Employed in VA

Typical salary1

Typical entry-level Education

Industrial engineering technicians 1,220 $33K–$76K Associate’s degree
Industrial engineers 3,830 $51K–$118K Bachelor’s degree
Industrial machinery mechanics 7,730 $31K–$71K High school diploma
Industrial production managers 2,430 $54K–$150K Bachelor’s degree
Maintenance workers, machinery 2,170 $25K–$61K High school diploma
Machinists 7,370 $24K-–60K High school diploma
Materials engineers 430 $53K–$130K Bachelor’s degree
Millwrights 640 $30K–$73K High school diploma
Packaging, filling machine operators 8,340 $18K–$43K High school diploma
Production, expediting clerks 7,700 $26K–$69K High school diploma
Sheet metal workers 5,110 $25K–$74K

High school diploma

Structural metal fabricators, fitters 1,470 $25K–$53K High school diploma
Team assemblers 10,270 $18K–$47K High school diploma
Tool and die makers 1,020 $32K–$70K High school diploma
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers 8,350 $25K–$56K High school diploma