Manufacturing and Production Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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If you thought manufacturing was all about production lines and robots, then think again. The UK's manufacturing industry is in the world's top ten and employs more than two and a half million people in a variety of roles including design engineers, researchers and marketing managers. Manufacturing jobs can be very varied and the wages are comparable to retail and the creative industries.

Britain's modern hi-tech manufacturing industry is known for its innovation and design and technological excellence, so much so that several Formula one teams base themselves in the UK. To maintain its quality, the manufacturing industry needs graduate-calibre employees and offers graduate recruitment schemes designed to attract suitable candidates.

Manufacturing covers such a wide range of areas from garment production to pharmaceuticals, which means that graduates can choose the type of company that interests them the most and embark on a varied career with the chance for rapid career progression.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

The qualification you need for a graduate job in manufacturing and production completely depends on the role you want to do. As the sector is so varied, you can get into the industry with a variety of degrees depending on the area you want to focus on. Of course, it is also possible to get into lower level manufacturing and production without a degree.

  • Business and management
  • Economics
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Statistics

Working in the manufacturing and production industry is all about experience. Progression is based on the level of experience you have in a particular area of the business, and the professional qualifications you take along the way, rather than the level or type of degree you have on joining the sector.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

Graduate jobs in manufacturing and production are often about technical skills and knowledge of processes. As such, you will need to have excellent attention to detail, the ability to solve problems effectively and quality control. Some of the skills you will need to demonstrate include:

There are also other important skills that you will need to display, especially if you are in an authority position or become a senior manager:

  • Leadership
  • Forward planning
  • Good financial planning
  • Organisation

What graduate manufacturing and production job can I do? TOP ^

With a wealth of roles and a dominant position in the UK's economy, there are many graduate manufacturing and production jobs open to new graduates. From engineering to line management, quality control to factory workers, there are jobs for almost any type of graduate.

Some jobs include:

  • Floor manager
  • Quality control
  • Production manager
  • Electronics engineer
  • Computer numerical control operators
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Line worker

A career in manufacturing can take you into almost any industry. You could be producing multi-million pound aircraft or the latest fashions. You could work for a massive multi-national company or a start up with just three or four members of staff.

With such a wide area and variation in roles, a career in manufacturing and production can take you almost anywhere. As manufacturing become more hi-tech, more roles open up for engineers and operators to move in.

Average manufacturing and production salariesTOP ^

Manufacturing and production may have an image as a poorly paid industry, but this is not the case at graduate level. Starting salaries before training average out at between £16,000 and £25,000, rising quickly with experience and professional qualifications to around £30,000.

  • Operations manager: £45,000
  • Skilled operator: £23,900
  • Computer numerical control: £27,700
  • Quality control: £31,000
  • Supervisor: £25,000
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