“Manufacturing Matters,” a summary of research from a variety of sources including the 2021 CTE Pathways study conducted by the Student Research Foundation, finds that manufacturing jobs can be an excellent career choice for today’s students. 

Let’s review some findings from the research.

Teachers Believe in the Value of Manufacturing Jobs

  • 98% of teachers surveyed agreed that manufacturing offers students good jobs
  • 94% agreed that manufacturing jobs offer students promising futures
  • 93% agreed that manufacturing jobs offer students above-average incomes
  • 91% agreed that manufacturing jobs offer students a path to the middle class

Source: Student Research Foundation 2021 CTE Teacher Survey

Teachers Also Believe that Manufacturing Jobs Benefit America

  • 97% of teachers surveyed agreed that manufacturing jobs strengthen the middle class
  • 97% agreed that manufacturing jobs boost the standard of living
  • 95% agreed that manufacturing jobs improve national security
  • 91% agreed that manufacturing jobs narrow the wealth gap

Source: Student Research Foundation 2021 CTE Teacher Survey

The Benefits of Taking a Job in Manufacturing

A 2019 by the Brookings Institution found that manufacturing jobs offer students the following job advantages:

  • 95% of manufacturing employees have access to paid vacations
  • 90% have access to health care
  • 84% have retirement benefits
  • 81% have access to paid sick leave

Keys to Encouraging Your Students to Explore Manufacturing Jobs

Because manufacturing jobs can only be performed in factories and other facilities – often using specialized equipment – classrooms are not the optimal settings to teach students about them. 

Yet these activities can expose students to the option of pursuing careers in manufacturing:

  • Place students in summer and other internships
  • Invite manufacturing engineers and other production professionals to make presentations at your schools
  • Encourage your students to explore and enroll in courses in manufacturing that are available at community schools and vocational schools in your area
  • Start manufacturing clubs at your school that invite professional presenters, show appropriate videos, and take other steps to increase awareness

So, Are Manufacturing Jobs in Your Students’ Plans?

If not, perhaps they should be. In addition to more mainstream STEM professions, they offer students an alternative – and viable – range of career opportunities to consider. 

Your Students Are Invited to Explore Their College & Career Options with Us . . .

Students who participate in the National Career & College Pathway Study will gain new insights about making educational decisions that align with their interests, passions, and aptitudes. Participants will receive information on college and career opportunities that match their interests.

Participate in the research study


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