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HOT JOBS PROFILE: Manufacturing

manufacturing.jpgManufacturing careers can be found in many industries from food to textiles to equipment, furniture, electronics and more. The duties of manufacturing jobs are varied, too, with some people assembling goods, some painting, upholstering or otherwise covering merchandise and others involved in quality control, inspecting products for flaws and making sure the goods meet set standards.

Check out these three career paths:



CNC Machine Operators

A computer numerical control (CNC) machinist runs computer-operated equipment to create machine parts, tools and other mass-produced items. He or she may work in a machine shop or in the manufacturing industry as an expert in the installation, maintenance, programming and operation of CNC technology.

Applicable Programs in the Area


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Manual Machinist

$10/hour (average entry level wage)

Daily Tasks

  • Machi9ning specialty parts for LINK Industries.
  • Working with metal to square it off, drill the holes, and cut the parts.

Career Path

  • Worked in a garage downstate.
  • Found a job in Harbor Springs, MI and took the opportunity to move north.
  • Got a job at LINK Industries and completed on-the-job training.


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CNC Manufacturing Technician

>$10/hour (average entry level wage)

Daily Tasks

  • Troubleshoot the machines, which can be operated remotely.
  • Take care of the maintenance problems.
  • Make changes to the operations of the machines.

Career Path

  • Moved to Indian River to find work.
  • Got a job as a drill engineer.
  • Made the switch to CNC programming as the field became available and developed.


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CNC Lathe Operator

>$10/hour (average entry level wage)

Daily Tasks

  • Running and operating different types of lathe machines.
  • Making sure the parts are of quality, and square.
  • Placing the blank parts for the lathes to complete.

Career Path

  • Went to school for heating and cooling.
  • Switched to a two-year machinist associates degree.
  • Currently attending Kirtland Community College for a degree in Mechatronics.


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CNC Grinder

>$10/hour (average entry level wage)

Daily Tasks

  • Remove and inspect the parts that the machine fabricated overnight.
  • Get different machines up and running for the day.
  • Work with the machines as they make the parts.

Career Path

  • Got a job in a factory soon out of high school.
  • Continued to different factory jobs.
  • Found a job with LINK Industries.


Welding & Fabrication

A computer numerical control (CNC) machinist runs computer-operated equipment to create machine parts, tools and other mass-produced items. He or she may work in a machine shop or in the manufacturing industry as an expert in the installation, maintenance, programming and operation of CNC technology.

Applicable Programs in the Area


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Welding Supervisor

$11 - $14/hour (average entry level wage)

Daily Tasks

  • Making sure everyone gets to their tasks on time.
  • Helping welded materials get to the paint booth.
  • Scheduling the work and making sure the quality is kept up.

Career Path

  • Started out in high school with general welding classes.
  • Took a two year vocational training course, then finished out school at Alpena Community College.
  • Worked hard at his job and got promoted to welding supervisor.


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Welder & Supervisor-in-Training

$10 – $15/hour (average entry level wage)

"The best part of working in Northern Michigan is that it’s a great place to live. I grew up here… so it’s easy for me to come to work every day and be happy because I know I get to go home and see my friends and family." - Brooks Dalgliesh

Daily Tasks

  • Weld pieces of metal together, weighing anywhere from 100 lbs to 8,000 lbs.
  • Weld/join metal parts on bridges, construction plants, power plants, refineries, and pipelines. Work on aerospace applications, shipbuilding, and automobile manufacturing.
  • Maintain machinery and equipment.

Career Path

  • Graduated from the Industrial Arts Institute.
  • Became employed with Moran Iron Works directly after IAI.
  • Became a Supervisor-in-Training less than a year after beginning at Moran.

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