Berks County’s High Demand For Advanced Manufacturing Professionals

Advanced manufacturing jobs are on the rise in Berks County. The demand for skilled labor across this industry is at an all-time high. Over the last 10 years, the advanced manufacturing sector has grown in Berks county at a rapid rate and is expected to continue growing into 2029. Jobs in this sector range from entry-level to management positions and include options for many education levels. With the right skills, a career in advanced manufacturing could be the calling for thousands of residents across the county.

Manufacturing Production Professionals

At the heart of the advanced manufacturing sector lies the production plant. This is where the “manufacturing” in advanced manufacturing takes place. While machines do much of the work in means of production, employees are still needed to fill in gaps, perform quality control, and run the daily ins and outs of the plant.

Where people are working, whether it is on a line or a machine, more people are needed to maintain the human sides of advanced manufacturing. Depending on the job, production professionals need basic skills like mechanical, electrical, and problem-solving skills. Having a strong work ethic, being a team player, and having a certain level of innovation are also needed to succeed in this area of advanced manufacturing.

Entry-level jobs include team assemblers, packaging and filling operators, food batch makers, and production assistants. The jobs usually require a high school education. With experience or post-secondary certifications, employees can branch off into more technical areas of production, or take a path that leads to management. On the technical end sits quality inspectors, production planners, industrial maintenance, and computer-controlled machine occupations. The managerial path includes lead production associates and supervisors, who may hold higher-level degrees like an associate’s. Production managers and general managers cap off this path with bachelor’s degrees or higher levels of education.

Machine Tool Technology

Technological advancement across all job sectors has made the need for general, unskilled labor drop drastically. Demand for skilled employees has emerged, particularly in the advanced manufacturing sector. In comes machine tool technology.

Machines have now dominated production. People are no longer needed for assembly; machines do that work for us. Instead, people are needed to operate, program, and repair these machines to keep them working at optimal standards. Common skills include trouble-shooting,
mechanics, electric, and pneumatics, as well as the ability to cross-train and pick up on specific, in-house training quickly.

Employees with high school degrees, GEDs, or apprenticeships are sought after for entry-level jobs such as tool setters, operators, and tenders. With post-secondary credentials, a job as a CNC (computer numerical control) operator or machinist is possible for those looking to move up the ladder. Even higher includes programmers, shop supervisors, and designers, all of which require an associate’s degree with experience. At the top of this career path, production managers, mechanical engineers, and general managers all require an educational background with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Industrial Maintenance Technician

Since people are needed to design, program, and operate the machines that do most of the production in the advanced manufacturing sector, people are also needed for maintenance and repair. Industrial maintenance employees are essential to a company’s ability to produce and expand across the industry.

Because machinery can be found across several professional sectors, industrial maintenance technicians are some of the most sought-after employees in the Berks County area. Like machine tool technicians, common basic skills for industrial maintenance include mechanical and electrical skills, alongside the ability to problem solve and quickly pick up information.

However, industrial maintenance technicians are often required to know certain crafts, such as carpentry and/or welding.

Entry-level industrial maintenance jobs usually require a high school degree or GED, as well as a valid driver’s license. These jobs include machine maintenance workers, mechanics, millwrights, and electrical, industrial, and commercial repairs. With work experience, these workers can move into supervisory positions. Higher up the ladder, jobs like electro-mechanical technicians, industrial engineers technicians, and mechanical engineering technicians all require high-level education, such as an associate’s degree. These employees work under the guidance of engineers to create, maintain, and dismantle the equipment. At the top of this career path sits the engineers and operations managers, who hold bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Join A Fast Growing Industry of Skilled Employees

The truth is that technology is only growing more advanced, and with it, the manufacturing industry. Trends suggest that advanced manufacturing in Berks Country is set to grow steadily and open thousands of job opportunities across multiple sectors. The need for employees with hard skills and experience is in high demand, so many companies have plans with secondary education bodies to provide the skills and education necessary for success. There are many exciting opportunities in Berks County to take advantage of, and advanced manufacturing is one that provides training, growth, and stability.