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Employment of production occupations is projected to decline 5 percent, with a loss of about 429,500 jobs from 2018 to 2028. Technological advancements are expected to continue to replace many of the manufacturing workers that make up a large share of the production occupations. Fewer workers are expected to be needed in the manufacturing sector as many processes have become computer-controlled.

The median annual wage for production occupations was $36,000 in May 2019, which was lower than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810. 

  OCCUPATION JOB SUMMARY ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2019 MEDIAN PAY Help
Assemblers and fabricators

Assemblers and Fabricators

Assemblers and fabricators assemble finished products and the parts that go into them.

High school diploma or equivalent $33,710
Bakers

Bakers

Bakers mix ingredients according to recipes in order to make breads, pastries, and other baked goods.

No formal educational credential $27,700
butchers and meat cutters image

Butchers

Butchers cut, trim, and package meat for retail sale.

No formal educational credential $32,500
Dental laboratory technicians

Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians construct, fit, or repair medical appliances and devices.

High school diploma or equivalent $37,370
Food and tobacco processing workers

Food and Tobacco Processing Workers

Food and tobacco processing workers operate equipment that mixes, cooks, or processes ingredients used in the manufacture of food and tobacco products.

See How to Become One $30,200
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers design, construct, adjust, repair, appraise and sell jewelry.

High school diploma or equivalent $40,870
Machinists and tool and die makers

Machinists and Tool and Die Makers

Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.

See How to Become One $45,750
Metal and plastic machine workers

Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces.

See How to Become One $36,990
Painting and coating workers

Painting and Coating Workers

Painting and coating workers paint and coat a wide range of products, often with the use of machines.

See How to Become One $37,770
Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers

Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers

Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers control the systems that generate and distribute electric power.

High school diploma or equivalent $85,950
Quality control inspectors

Quality Control Inspectors

Quality control inspectors examine products and materials for defects or deviations from specifications.

High school diploma or equivalent $39,140
Stationary engineers and boiler operators

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

Stationary engineers and boiler operators control stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment.

High school diploma or equivalent $62,150
Water and liquid waste treatment plant and system operators

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

High school diploma or equivalent $47,760
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join, repair, or cut metal parts and products.

High school diploma or equivalent $42,490
Woodworkers

Woodworkers

Woodworkers manufacture a variety of products such as cabinets and furniture, using wood, veneers, and laminates.

High school diploma or equivalent $32,690

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 10, 2020