Your Ultimate Guide to a Career in Manufacturing

Engineering and manufacturing are some of the world’s greatest achievements – these two fields helped power us forward in the Industrial Revolution.

It’s not just all about skyscrapers and robots. That toothbrush you used this morning was created on a production line, as was your morning bowl of cereal and the spoon you used to eat it. So, how can you get started with a career in manufacturing? Let’s find out.

Search Manufacturing Apprenticeships
Manufacturing Apprenticeships

The basics

Manufacturing is a diverse and dynamic career sector that offers a wide range of opportunities for young people. From traditional roles on the factory floor to cutting-edge positions in advanced technology and automation, manufacturing presents a wealth of career paths to explore.

Apprentices entering the field can expect to work with state-of-the-art technologies such as robotics, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence. These advancements have revolutionised production processes, making them more efficient, precise, and environmentally friendly.

One of the key benefits of pursuing a career in manufacturing is its global reach. With the interconnectedness of the modern economy, manufacturing professionals have the opportunity to work with colleagues and clients from around the world.

With a wide range of opportunities for growth and development, this sector continues to attract talent and drive progress in the global economy.

Types of Manufacturing Apprenticeships

Manufacturing Technician

Not afraid to get stuck in? You can pursue careers like farm manager and herd manager.

Safety is everything in engineering. In a manufacturing technician role, you will monitor the safety and quality of production lines. This position has a huge engineering component, as you’ll keep up with machinery maintenance and step in to fix things if there’s a breakdown.

Quality Engineer

Also called a QA (quality assurance) or a QC (quality control), a quality engineer checks that every product is perfect when it reaches the end of the production line. While it may seem simple, a quality engineer’s role involves complex documentation, regulations, standards and tests. Plus, you’ll need to create processes that your colleagues can follow to keep the whole operation running smoothly.

Process Automation Engineer

There are a lot of ways that AI and automation can benefit the manufacturing industry, and a process automation engineer is the one that pulls the strings. On a daily basis, you will look for ways to optimise industrial processes, such as creating new software systems and machinery design.

Entry requirements?

Almost every apprenticeship in manufacturing requires five GCSEs in grades 9 to 4, and you might also need two or three A Levels or a BTEC equivalent. Maths and science are a must, and your English grade will need to be tip-top too.

As for soft skills, attention to detail is essential – after all, everything in engineering and manufacturing is about precision. Manufacturing is one of the most innovative fields on the planet, so a keen interest in technology (like robotics or software development) will look awesome on your CV.