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Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways

Manufacturing is planning, managing, and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering. The manufacturing career cluster is divided into six distinct pathways.  These six pathways have over 96 different careers or occupations.  Here are samples of top careers in manufacturing. For a complete list, visit

Production Pathway

CNC Machining 
Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Machining is a method used to perform a wide range of manufacturing tasks, which are all carried out by computerized devices.

Sheet Metal Worker
Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets, including ducts used in heating and air conditioning systems.

Welders primary duty is joining metal parts together.  They work on metal components with various building or construction industries.  Examples: pipelines, bridges, power-plants, or refineries.

Manufacturing Production Process Development Pathway

Design Engineer
Design Engineers study, research, and develop ideas for new products and the systems used to make them. They also modify existing products or processes to increase efficiency or improve performance.

Engineering Technician
Engineering technicians help solve technical problems in research and development, manufacturing, sales, construction, inspection, and maintenance by using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) principles.

Maintenance, Installation and Repair Pathway

Computer Maintenance Technician
Computer Maintenance Technicians oversee daily computer performance, provide technical support and install new software for users.  Activities include running diagnostics, responding to inquiries, resolving issues and installing updates.

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry liquids or gases to, within, and from businesses, homes, and factories.

Quality Assurance Pathway

Quality Assurance Inspectors ensure that the products manufactured by their employers meet industry and federal standards.  Individuals may work on a production line or test items in a controlled laboratory setting.

Quality Engineer 
Quality Engineers are responsible for making sure that engineering and manufacturing processes are performed correctly using the right tools, materials, and processes.  An important part of the job involves designing the company’s quality standards and testing processes against those criteria.

Logistics and Inventory Control Pathway

Logisticians oversee activities that include purchasing, transportation, inventory, and warehousing. Individuals operate software programs designed to manage logistical functions like procurement, inventory management, and other supply chain planning and management systems.

Health, Safety and Environmental Assurance Pathway

Environmental Engineer 
Environmental Engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.  Activities include efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.

Health and Safety Engineer
Health and Safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to protect people from illness and injury and property from damage. Individuals make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other products will not cause harm to people or damage to property.

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