The Automation & Specialization of Manufacturing Jobs in America

Dennis Spaeth


The American manufacturing industry is charging ahead. Despite losing five million jobs over the past decade due to automation and offshoring, the American manufacturing industry is now producing up to 12% of the country’s gross domestic product. That’s the same percentage of product produced in 1960, but with three times the growth in productivity experienced in 1978.

Many workers now require a college degree to operate in the manufacturing industry due to technological advances in tools for engineering. As a result, the industry plans to open its doors to 3.5 million new workers who are skilled in advanced machinery by 2027. This a huge victory for the U.S. with its manufacturing companies now reshoring once more to advance the nation’s productivity.

manufacturing-automation-specialized-jobsThe average manufacturing worker will now earn up to $26 an hour thanks to the advancement in automation and the specialization required to operate in the industry. Not only will jobs in American manufacturing be on the rise once again, but the workers who specialize in these jobs will also be better compensated.

The necessity for specialization in the manufacturing industry also ensures the benefit of an American education. Nearly 50 years ago, the average manufacturing worker had little to no college education. But today, up to 71% of workers have a two-year college degree, increasing the number of those with a higher education up to 32%.

The reshoring of American manufacturing jobs and the advancement in the education of American industry workers opens the doors not only to the industry’s economic success, but also the success of the average worker. Those who worked in the industry prior to the reshoring of the industry’s jobs can now re-enter the workforce at a higher salary and in a higher position.

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