1. Well paying positions. According to the NTMA (National Tooling & Machining Association), those in a manufacturing-related job in America tend to make an average of $15,000 more per year than other job fields. This extra amount of money alone can pay for rent, a new car, or help to significantly pay off school or other related debts, while still having money left over each year. More money for vacations, or saving to get to retirement faster.
2. Flexible work environment with a changing technological and social landscape. Machinist jobs are well known to have a casual dress code, which is usually comprised of thick t-shirts, jeans and hoodies, due to the work environment. There are also lots of young machinists working today who have tattoos, piercings and an overall unconventional look, which is acceptable within most manufacturing shop floor employers. There is also the flexibility of easily transfering your shopfloor skills to any manufacturing shop floor.
One thing to keep in mind is that middle school kids, high school teens and college-aged young adults are attached to their devices and social media, so industry should use it as tool for building community within the industry and reaching new talent via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and beyond.
3. Less time in school after high school, and you can often learn the trade during high school! For any classroom environment, it is highly recommended that educators check out the video platform Edge Factor as well as the Cardinal Manufacturing program from the Eleva-Strum School District, which is a real machine shop run by high school students. This school district also has a very progressive digital learning initiative to keep students engaged with current technology.
Most employers look for certifications or offer an apprenticeship to get new talent through the door. To gain certifications, there are online colleges, community colleges and vendors offering certification learning resources, as well as the program Workshops for Warriors for military veterans. Lastly, because of the financial freedom that working in manufacturing provides, it also gives those who go into the field a chance to continue their learning throughout their adult life.