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Top manufacturing jobs to watch in the next 12 Months

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May 03, 2023

The manufacturing industry is in a constant state of flux, adapting to new technologies and
trends that shape the future.

The UK currently stands as the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world and as of
2022 the UK manufacturing sector:

  • Employed 2.5 million people,
  • Had an average annual income of £35,277
  • Accounts for 51% of total exports

As manufacturing is continually growing and innovating with new technologies and machine
processes, new competencies, skill sets and even new positions, roles and titles are creating
huge operational success for disruptive manufacturing companies.

What are the manufacturing jobs and skills to consider adding to your teams for
success in the coming year?

Considering the innovations in the sector, it is important stay on top of the latest in-demand
manufacturing skills and the roles that are creating real change for your competitors to
future-proof your organisation.

Electronics Engineers

Electronics engineering contributes to the creation and production of advanced electronic
systems and devices. Organisations which hire electronic engineers benefit from their
involvement in innovative and dynamic projects, from state-of-the-art defence contracts to
the development of next-generation infrastructure networks.

Career Smart reports that approximately 37,500 electronics engineers were employed in the
UK in 2021, with projections to rise to over 39,000 by 2027.

Salary and Career Progression

  • Average salary: £50,579 per year
  • Senior electronics engineers: £70,000
  • Highly skilled and experienced professionals: potentially exceeding £100,000

This growing demand underscores the necessity for organisations to build competitive
recruitment strategies to attract professionals who are current with emerging trends and
technologies, such as microelectronics and nanotechnology.

Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is a multifaceted discipline with plenty of applications in the
manufacturing industry, from clothing manufacturing to smartphone app development.

Professionals with a background in mechanical engineering offer a broad range of
knowledge and transferable skills that contribute to increased productivity and growth

Popular mechanical engineering fields include:

  • Computer applications
  • Design and manufacturing
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence

Salary and career progression:

  • Average salary: £47,971
  • Senior level salaries: £60,000+

Mechanical engineers are in high demand worldwide, and digitisation is rapidly changing the
profession. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way engineers
develop and design equipment, able to accelerate the design process and make accurate


CNC Operator, Machinist & Programmers

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining has revolutionised the manufacturing
industry, enabling precise and efficient production processes. Understanding the roles of
machinists, operators and programmers is essential to stay competitive in this dynamic field.

  • CNC Operator

CNC operators are entry-level professionals responsible for loading stock material and
managing machining processes. They ensure CNC machining aligns with specifications,
guaranteeing end products meet requirements.

  • CNC Machinist

CNC machinists produce machine parts following established parameters and specifications.
They calibrate machines to maintain optimal operational levels, benefiting manufacturing
organisations by ensuring high-quality output. Additionally, they collaborate with other
industrial machinery like grinders, borers, hydraulic presses, and cranes.

  • CNC Programmer

A CNC programmer generates the instructions for a CNC machine to create specific
products by working with blueprints or models and writing code. These computer-controlled
machines follow precise instructions for cutting and shaping materials, making CNC
programming a specialised form of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
Salary and career progression:

  • Average CNC operator salary: 27,300
  • Average CNC machinist salary: 28,498
  • Average CNC programmer salary: £30,000

There are many innovations to watch in this space, including the growing use of virtual and
augmented reality as well as robotics, creating many new in-demand skills. As these trends

shape the future of machining, we can expect the manufacturing sector to benefit from
increasingly more advanced processes and products.


Product Management

As industry 4.0 continues to evolve the manufacturing industry, the need for quality and
competent product managers is higher than ever as companies are driving for better
streamlined processes and workflows.
Product managers in manufacturing are expected to optimise production processes, control
costs, and maintain a competitive edge, while overseeing product and process design to
meet both client and industry requirements.

What are the "five M's" of production management?

  • Management: Effective people management to ensure optimal workforce
  • performance
  • Machines: Selection and control of equipment and technology in the production
  • process
  • Methods: Implementing efficient production procedures and adapting to changing
  • needs
  • Materials: Streamlining the flow of resources and information throughout the
  • production cycle
  • Money: Balancing financial resources and asset utilisation for optimal returns

Salary and career progression:

  • Average entry level salary: £25,000-£39,000
  • Median project manager salary: £50,000 a year
  • Experienced product manager salary: £70,000+

Product managers with manufacturing jobs require a balance of technical expertise,
analytical capabilities, and strong leadership skills.

Highly-skilled product managers are fundamental to the evolution of the manufacturing
sector and organisations should keep an eye on the skills and trends in this evolving talent
market to ensure they have the right talent for their innovation initiatives.


Guarantee success by staying ahead of the manufacturing talent curve

Organisations striving for success in the manufacturing industry must prioritise building
competitive recruitment strategies to attract and retain top talent with the latest
manufacturing skills.

Precision People is a specialist search, recruitment, and consultancy services organisation
focussed on providing a range of recruitment and people solutions for manufacturing
organisations nationwide and beyond.

Get in touch today to build your manufacturing recruitment strategy.