Very few manufacturing careers are based on the apprentice system or on-the-job training. The manufacturing field includes as many disciplines as there are products. By attending a certified program, students ensure they have a solid grounding in all aspects of the manufacturing process as well as mastery of a particular skill.
A machinist or someone who specializes in welding is advised to attend an accredited school before entering the workforce. Even someone already employed benefits from going to school to get his or her skills up to the highest level possible in order to remain competitive. There is no such thing as too much training.
Technical skills are needed on the shop floor and manufacturers look for people with the best education possible to ensure that they have a mastery of what the job requires. This includes a knowledge of materials, their stresses and limitations, as well as workflow management and appropriate techniques. Beyond these skills, there are other considerations that go into the manufacturing process that are equally important and vital to delivering quality products on time.
As time-sensitive inventory control becomes more important to retailers, and a retailer’s reputation can rest on the quality of goods offered, manufacturing professionals have become more than assembly line workers. Graduation from a manufacturing school impresses managers that a prospective employee has a larger picture in view than just punching a time clock and collecting a paycheck. This is a traditional view of blue collar workers and it couldn’t be farther from the expectations today’s demanding, competitive economy demands.
People with degrees and certificates in manufacturing have a broadly based and solid understanding of all the issues involved to turn raw materials into finished products. These include purchasing and receiving, logistics, plant maintenance, quality control, warehouse management, shipping, and customer service. A credential earned from a manufacturing school is evidence that a graduate has a working knowledge of process management and quality improvement.
There are many schools and programs that offer advanced education in manufacturing. Just as the field is home to a countless supply of products and job opportunities, there are many means to obtain the necessary training in manufacturing. Some technical and trade schools require hands-on classroom time and one-on-one instruction, depending on the field of study. Others require more book work and there are programs that offer online study programs that fit a student’s schedule. Many programs are a combination of the two, striking a balance between online course work with personalized, one-on-one training. The right program is out there.