The production of goods by manual labor or mechanical means. Manufacturing workers include laborers with a broad range of individual abilities, which are typically specific to a particular manufacturing process or production line. These workers often use hand tools and have some mechanical aptitude. Duties might include tasks like machine operation and maintenance, cleaning, shipping, filling containers, soldering, welding, assembly and packing. In many cases, tasks are repeated throughout a worker's shift.
Many manufacturing jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent to begin, and some include extensive training on the job site. Typically, junior workers rise in rank and responsibility as they learn skills and procedures from more experienced workers. In some industries and with certain tools, certification is mandatory, and preparation for needed tests may be included in a company's training program. Some jobs require experience in specific, specialized trades such as tool making and metal fabrication, which can be acquired through courses and training programs outside the workplace. Generally, pay corresponds to skill level, work habits and responsibility. While entry-level jobs often require relatively little formal education, manufacturing workers can often rise over time to positions that are both highly skilled and well paid.
Many manufacturing workers are on their feet all day, perhaps assembling components of a device, using a machine to fabricate or install components, or preparing items for shipment. The work pace is usually set by the specifics of an assembly line. Often, workers will continuously monitor quality of output and the condition of critical working tools. Depending on the position, work may require some math or measurement skills for quality control, calibration of equipment and fitting of tool parts.