Manufacturing Production Technicians


Employment Prospects


Approximately 83,360 engineering technicians (except drafters) are employed in the United States. Manufacturing production technicians work in a variety of manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S., although employment is concentrated in industrialized areas. Many production technicians work in manufacturing industries such as chemicals, motor vehicles, food processing, textile mill products, primary metals, and fabricated metal products. Others work for public utilities, government agencies, and mining, oil, and gas extraction companies.

Starting Out

Manufacturing production technicians often get started in their careers through apprenticeship programs and entry-level jobs. Job listings are found through local trade unions and trade associations, as well as by contacting companies directly. Technician jobs can be found in the automotive, plastics, textile, electronics, packaging, food, beverage, and aerospace industries, with large organizations offering more job openings. Technicians also find jobs through employment Web sites such as as well as Indeed, Monster, Recruiter, among others. State employment offices are another good source for job listings in manufacturing.

Advancement Prospects

Manufacturing production technicians who complete their apprenticeship training usually become journeymen. Opportunities for advancement beyond this rank may be limited, but production technicians who hone their knowledge of complicated machinery and equipment can advance into higher paying positions. Highly skilled production technicians become supervisors and managers, responsible for hiring and overseeing the work of production technicians. Skilled production technicians with additional training may move into other specialized manufacturing fields, such as numerical control tool programming, precision metalworking, packaging machinery technicians, and robotics technicians. They may also become teachers and speakers at industry-related conferences and educational programs.

Tips for Entry

Keep up with news and development in various manufacturing industries by reading publications such as Manufacturing Best Practices,

Meet others working in manufacturing and learn about career opportunities by attending industry events and conferences, such as the Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo,

Get a part-time or summer job in the technician department of a manufacturing facility to learn more about this type of work and see if it is a good fit for you.

Conduct an informational interview with a production technician to find out how they got started in their career and what advice they can share. Ask your school's career services office for help with securing the interview and be sure to prepare your list of questions in advance.