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High-Paying Manufacturing Jobs in the Metro Area

9/27/2021 9:00:00 AM

Tim O'Neill

It's Manufacturing Month in the State of Minnesota, and a vitally important share of the state's manufacturing employment is located right within the Seven-County Metro Area. In fact, with 4,060 establishments supplying nearly 166,172 covered jobs, the Metro Area accounts for more than half (53.8%) of the state's total manufacturing employment. Manufacturing also happens to be the Metro Area's 2nd largest-employing industry sector, behind only Health Care & Social Assistance.

Manufacturing jobs are high paying in the Metro Area. During 2020, the average annual industry wage for jobs in Manufacturing was $80,968. This was 13.1% higher than the average annual wage across all industries in the region, at $71,630. In other words, the typical manufacturing worker in the Metro Area makes about $9,360 more per year than the typical worker across all industries. And the pay is even higher in certain sectors. Those in-depth sectors with the highest average annual industry wages include Computer & Electronic Product Manufacturing ($106,132), Chemical Manufacturing ($100,256), and Machinery Manufacturing ($82,264).

With the Department of Employment and Economic Development's (DEED) Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) tool, one can also find out earnings for specific manufacturing occupations that have the highest employment in the Metro region(Table 1). Let's take Machinists, the largest-employing production occupation in the Metro Area, as an example. According to the latest OEWS data, Machinists have a median hourly wage of $27.06. As such, Machinists working in the region typically earn 8.5% more than the typical worker overall.

Table 1. Metro Area Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, 2021

Occupation Estimated Employment Hourly Wage Percentiles
25th Median 75th
Machinists 6,350 $21.96 $27.06 $31.90
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers 6,150 $27.94 $33.67 $40.86
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers 6,070 $19.05 $23.29 $28.18
Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Assemblers 5,600 $16.46 $18.92 $22.72
Printing Press Operators 3,730 $18.29 $22.83 $28.87
Production Workers, All Other 3,700 $14.49 $17.47 $21.33
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers 3,650 $21.23 $25.06 $29.08
Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders 3,540 $14.95 $17.89 $21.13
Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders 2,830 $17.76 $21.07 $25.36
Helpers--Production Workers 2,800 $14.21 $16.37 $19.93
Computer Numerically Controlled Tool Operators 2,510 $20.00 $25.08 $29.89
Food Batchmakers 2,190 $13.84 $16.10 $21.76
Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders 2,000 $17.45 $20.34 $24.60
Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

Median hourly wages are highest for production occupations like Power Plant Operators ($48.06), First-Line Supervisors of Production & Operating Workers ($33.67), Stationary Engineers & Boiler Operators ($32.99), CNC Tool Programmers ($32.94), Water & Wastewater Treatment Plant & System Operators ($31.72), and Tool & Die Makers ($29.38). Other occupations found in the manufacturing industry sector with high median hourly wages include General & Operations Managers ($56.74), Industrial Production Managers ($47.81), Industrial Engineers ($43.27), Mechanical Engineers ($40.62), and Wholesale & Manufacturing Sales Representatives ($34.26).

While manufacturing occupations in the Metro Area are high paying, jobseekers typically don't need extensive levels of postsecondary education to be qualified for these jobs. Of the more than 6,500 manufacturing vacancies in the Metro Area during the fourth quarter of 2020, more than half (53%) required a high school diploma, GED, or less. Of the other 47% of openings, 27% of such vacancies required vocational training, 3% required an associate degree, and 17% required a bachelor's degree or higher.

Manufacturing Month event information and resources for employers, educators, students and job seekers:

For More Information

Contact Tim O'Neill, Labor Market Analyst.

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