best manufacturing jobs in 2019

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where manufacturing jobs in canada are headed

Over the past year, many of the biggest headlines about the manufacturing industry have centred on the unstable trade relationship between Canada and the US, and the impact on Canadian manufacturers. Over the last year, a number of tariffs were exchanged between the US and Canada. After months of acrimony and tough negotiations, in October 2018, a trade deal was finally reached. USMCA (or the United States Mexico Canada Agreement) will likely be ratified and replace NAFTA in the coming year. USMCA has new provisions for auto manufacturers, Canadian agriculture (in particular dairy) and additional labour, environmental and intellectual property protections. In 2019, we'll settle into this new trade relationship with our largest trade partner. That will have far-reaching implications for Canada's manufacturing sector. Whether these changes are good or bad is yet to be determined, but for now there's optimism that the choppy seas that 2018 brought the Canadian manufacturing sector will settle down in 2019.

 

the best manufacturing jobs of 2019

Welder holds onto the spot of best manufacturing job for a second straight year. 2019 is a good year to be employed in the skilled trades sector, in general. Employers are experiencing almost universal skill shortages across most skilled trade disciplines. That's reflected in the high number of skilled trades jobs on this year's list. Electricians and millwrights both appeared on the best manufacturing jobs list for the first time this year. CNC machinists also remain in high demand.

best jobs in 2019

  • 1. welder

    Welder holds onto the top spot on the list of best manufacturing jobs for a second year in a row. For decades young workers have been shying away from jobs perceived as 'blue collar' such as welding. As a result, there aren't enough talented welders to meet employer demand. A certification or experience with MIG or TIG welding can further increase your employability and earning potential in this already in-demand field.

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  • 2. production supervisor

    Production supervisors take the second spot on the list of best manufacturing jobs in 2019. Production supervisors are typically responsible for overseeing a production team in manufacturing sector. They organize staff, equipment and processes, ensuring the production floor runs like a well-oiled machine. As first-line managers, production supervised typically have a number of years of experience in the manufacturing sector.

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  • 3. general labourer

    General labourers fill gaps in the manufacturing sector, lending assistance as needed. There's no set job description for general labourers, however some tasks they may perform include assisting specialized workers, cleaning the production area, assembling, or maintaining equipment. Minimal experience is required, so a general labour job is a good place to start if you're seeking an entry-level job in the manufacturing sector.

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  • 4. electrician

    Electricians and other related roles such as electromechanic are in demand in 2019. Like most skilled trades, there's a skills gap in the electrical field. Young workers are opting out of 'blue-collar' roles in favour of professional jobs. That leaves employers with a lot of jobs to fill and not enough electricians to fill them.

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  • 5. CNC machinist

    CNC machinist is a staple on the best manufacturing jobs list, and 2019 is no exception. CNC machinists program machines for precision cutting, grinding, drilling. CNC machinists are unique in the skilled trades field, in that their role combines traditional trade-based work with high-tech CNC (computer numerical control) programming. The technical nature of this role makes it one of the most future-proof skilled trades.

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  • 6. machine operator

    Machine operators, also sometimes known as tool and die operators or machinists work with heavy machinery to fabricate items in a manufacturing setting. They may specialize in a specific machine, or work on a variety of machines. This role is closely related to CNC machinist, but with more focus on mechanical operation and less emphasis on programming.

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  • 7. assembler

    Assemblers are one of the most entry-level jobs on the manufacturing floor. Assemblers typically work with their hands, using tools or machines to put together components for an end product. If you have good manual dexterity and an eye for detail, an assembler job is a good entry point into the manufacturing sector.

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  • 8. millwright

    Millwrights are experts in the machinery and mechanical equipment used in manufacturing plants and factories. They install, assemble, repair and otherwise maintain mechanical equipment. Unlike machinists, millwrights don't operate the equipment. Their role is more to ensure that it runs smoothly and to troubleshoot any issues.

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manufacturing salaries in canada in 2019

The median annual salary in the manufacturing sector grew to $37,600, up from $36,700 last year. It's a small gain, but is fairly consistent with the growth experienced in other sectors. Minimum wage increases in some key Canadian provinces with a heavy manufacturing presence may also be partly responsible. The bottom 10% of earners in the manufacturing sector make $29,000 or less, while the top 10% of earners make $46,200 or more.

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the best manufacturing skills to have in 2019

The number one skill in the manufacturing sector for a second year is blueprints. Coming in second is another mainstay on the list of best manufacturing skills: quality control. Coming in third is the ability to use and read micrometers which moved up one spot in 2019. Overall, this year's list of best manufacturing skills is very similar to last year's with skills such as welding equipment and good manufacturing practice also remaining key skills in the sector for 2019.

best skills in 2019

  • 1. blueprints

    Blueprints are the foundation of the manufacturing industry. Production runs carry out the specifications in blueprints to create accurate and consistent products. Knowing how to read or produce blueprints will open a lot of doors to you in the manufacturing sector.

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  • 2. quality control / assurance

    Quality control or quality assurance is a key part of any manufacturing process. Quality control ensures that end products are high quality and consistent, and that defective products are detected before they reach the end user. There's a whole sector of jobs in manufacturing built around this skill. Experience in the manufacturing sector and knowledge of QA best practices are a plus.

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  • 3. micrometers

    Micrometres are a type of tool used to take extremely accurate measurements. Also sometimes called a micrometer screw gauge, they're used frequently by machinists and others working in mechanical trades to measure components with a high degree of accuracy. There are many specialized types of micrometers, so depending on your work, the type of micrometer you use may vary.

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  • 4. welding equipment

    With welder taking the top spot on the list of best manufacturing jobs for 2019, it should be no surprise to see knowledge of welding equipment (or soldering equipment) on the list of best skills. Though general knowledge and experience using welding equipment will get you far, specialization in MIG or TIG welding will net you better paying roles.

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  • 5. cutting equipment

    In manufacturing, cutting tools are used for machining. There are a variety of mechanical tools used for processes such as milling, drilling, shaping, planing or grinding. Experience using and maintaining these tools is a huge plus for roles such as machinists or millwrights.

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  • 6. engineering drawings

    Engineering drawings are a type of technical drawing used to define requirements for engineered items. Today, most engineering drawings are produced using CAD (or computer aided design.) Knowledge of CAD software and the process for designing engineering drawings has applications in the manufacturing sector, such as creating production drawings.

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  • 7. good manufacturing practice (GMP)

    Good manufacturing practice (GMP) is a set of regulations for manufacturers, to ensure consistent and high-quality products are produced in sectors including food production, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medicine. GMP is a key part of Canada's regulatory framework to reduce harm caused by bad manufacturing. Knowledge and experience with GMP shows employers you know the best practices in the sector.

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the best manufacturing certifications in 2019

The top manufacturing certification in 2019 proves your skills as a welder. Like many skilled trades professions, there is a skills shortage in the welding field. A certification in MIG or TIG welding will instantly mark your skills as a welder and boost your employability. Other top certifications in the manufacturing sector relate to food safety and your ability to drive commercial vehicles.

best certifications

  • 1. TIG / MIG welding certification

    With welders taking the top spot on on the list of best manufacturing jobs for 2019, it should come as no surprise that welding certifications are also in demand. TIG and MIG welding are two different styles of welding. MIG is a general-purpose welding style. TIG is used for thinner gauge materials and requires a more delicate touch. MIG welding is simpler to learn than TIG welding, but both skills are in high demand and gaining certification will lead to steady employment.

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  • 2. food safety (HACCP) certification

    Hazard analysis and critical control points, or HACCP, is a globally-recognized approach to food safety, designed to reduce the risk of physical, biological and chemical hazards in food production. HACCP is built on preventative guidelines, rather than post-production quality control. If you work in food production, a HACCP certification is a must-have.

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  • 3. safe quality food (SQF) certification

    A safe quality food (SQF) certification is a globally recognized food safety certification that uses a HACCP approach. There are 3 certification levels: fundamentals, food safety, and food quality. It's regulated by the safe quality food institute (SQFI) and marks your expertise in food safety and sourcing.

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  • 4. truck driver's license

    A commercial driver's license allows you to drive vehicles (weighing more than 11,000 kilos) such as trucks. Driving licenses are regulated by provincial governments in Canada, so the exact classification may vary depending on where you live in Canada. For example, in Ontario a commercial license is known as a Class D, whereas in Quebec it's known as Class 5.

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