Manufacturing and Production School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Here's your chance to get into a career that thrives on innovation, design and new technology. Manufacturing and production loves progress, and you can be at the forefront!Manufacturing and Production

What’s it all about?TOP ^

This is an industry where there's literally something for everyone. If you like science, you can get into developing new products and materials. If you’re thinking about working with mechanics and studying engineering, you can specialise in the machinery and processes used in a production plant.

Want to work in design? You can be in charge of how a product looks when it comes off the conveyor belt. If you want a career in market research, you can apply your skills to promoting what your company does, and researching what consumers want.

This will help the researchers and engineers know where to direct their work, which can then have an effect on the production line and types of machines used. Buyers and procurers fit into this as well, as it’s their job to get the materials needed to produce the finished products. So, it's pretty much one huge team effort.

Think you fit into one of those areas? Well, there are more choices ahead - manufacturing and production applies across a broad range of sectors, from planes, trains and automobiles to clothes, food and pharmaceuticals. So, you can combine interests by using your skills in a type of work you want to learn more about. While the experience you get on the job will often be transferrable to another kind of company, you’re best off if you can specialise in a certain kind of research, design or other expertise that will allow you to move up the ladder quickly.

Entry level positions in large companies within this industry are often given to graduate recruits through special training programmes. You can also gain technical knowledge of machinery and plant operations through apprenticeships.

What will I earn? TOP ^

Manufacturing engineers can start earning around £20,000 and progress to over £50,000. A scientist in research and development can earn around £25,000 after experience. Someone just starting out in product design can earn £15,000 to over £20,000. A new production worker can earn around £12,000-£15,000, with managers earning around £25,000.

Where can I work? TOP ^

If you've got at least five GCSEs at C or above (including Maths and English), you can find your footing in this career with an apprenticeship and further qualifications. This will get you into jobs as a technician or working on the production line.

More specialised areas of research and engineering will usually require a degree - check out programmes for mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering.

You can work in manufacturing and production in almost any industry in any setting around the country. Although certain areas are in decline, such as car manufacturing, other areas are opening up such as energy and utilities.

What skills will I need in manufacturing and production? TOP ^

You need to keep on your toes for this kind of work, watching out for problems in products, machines, packaging, etc. You'll also need to be a good team player as you and your colleagues work to meet goals and quotas, which will help build your leadership skills so you have a better chance of moving into a management role when the opportunity comes.

School leaver 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:

What entry level jobs in manufacturing and production can I do? TOP ^

Manufacturing and production has always been at the heart of the UK’s economy and there are still plenty of entry level jobs for school leavers to get in to. You could work in a large factory or in a small business, with huge mechanical processes or building by hand.
Some entry level manufacturing and production jobs include:

  • Line operator
  • Computer control operator
  • Production assistant
  • Floor worker
Browse all Manufacturing and Production jobs for this guide