Manufacturing

Incorporating many sectors, companies and professionals, the manufacturing industry produces goods or products from raw materials, using machines, tools and bio-chemical modification.

Careers in the manufacturing industry include a variety of roles and areas of work such as engineers, logistics workers, operation controllers, assemblers, machinists, delivery drivers, crafts workers and many more. Some manufacturing areas have decreased as manufacturing plants are outsourced, however there are still large companies and complex manufactured products that require significant numbers of professionals. Manufacturing includes all the intermediary processes and components required to produce goods and products. Most manufacturing occurs at large-scale industrial production where goods and products such as food and beverage products, electronic equipment, construction and paper products, pharmaceutical materials and parts for vehicles and machinery are produced.

Engineers in the manufacturing industry include chemical and materials engineers who research, design and develop specifications of materials to create products and investigate chemical interactions. They may modify materials such as ceramics, chemicals, composites, metals, plastics and rubber to improve the performance of their intended use and increase cost-effectiveness. Engineers and scientists can also work in manufacturing careers researching the properties of food and beverages and developing new food products for manufacturing. Logistics managers handle the logistical aspects of product supply and distribution for companies and organisations while machinists install metal or wood parts, and set up and operate machining tools to form stock and mouldings.

There are many careers in manufacturing that do not require higher levels of education, however those wishing to work on the engineering or industrial design areas of manufacture will need a bachelors degree. The manufacturing industry also requires individuals with business backgrounds in accounting and management to provide administrative and management services. Other fields may require vocational training programs or experience learning skilled work relevant to the sector. Some of the careers associated with manufacturing require long working hours performing repetitive tasks and fabricating the same products or components. Professionals in manufacturing may work in factory or industrial production settings, laboratories, workshops and offices.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Professional associations and industry bodies

Association of Consulting Engineers Australia 

Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers

Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association Ltd 

Australian Industry Group 

Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute 

Commercial Furniture Industry Association of Australia 

ForestWorks 

Housing Industry Association Ltd 

Manufacturing Skills Australia 

Packaging Council of Australia 

Welding Technology Institute of Australia

Skills and personality

  • Adherence to safety standards and procedures during the manufacturing process
  • Analytical abilities assessing manufacturing process and making improvements and ensuring cost-effectiveness and quality assurance
  • Effectively use a variety of machines, tools and equipment and operate controls
  • Enjoy fabricating and designing products and services
  • Evaluation capabilities to assess performance of employees and production process
  • High attention to detail including accuracy and precision of work
  • Perform repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently to contribute to fast production times
  • Strong coordination and organisational abilities and work with multiple stakeholders
  • Strong problem solving and engineering skills to test new products and figure out cause of defects
  • Work in a team with others on manufacturing products