The skilled trades pay well. In fact, skilled workers with the right knowledge and skill sets can command equal or even greater compensation than their counterparts in white-collar jobs—often without as many educational requirements or as much stress as corporate positions tend to come with. Despite this truth, many people still buy into the misconception that manufacturing jobs are all low paying.

Dispel that myth for yourself by checking out seven manufacturing positions below that pay an average of $25 or higher. Arm yourself with this knowledge and some salary negotiation tips to ensure you get paid what you're worth in your next position.

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parts manager

Parts managers ensure factories and other manufacturing organizations—or customers—have the parts required to get each job done. Tasks can include managing inventories, ordering parts, supplying parts and attending to paperwork such as purchase orders and requisition forms.

In most regions in Canada, parts managers start at around $25 to $30 per hour, and pay can rise to $35 per hour with more experience. To be hired as a parts manager, you may need to demonstrate some experience in manufacturing, inventory management or warehouse management. 

assembly supervisor

Assembly supervisors are the direct leadership role over assembly lines. They ensure manufacturing lines are properly staffed, monitor workers and workflows to ensure appropriate productivity and attend to employee needs as appropriate. 

In most areas of the nation, these positions pay $22 to $30 per hour to start for qualified candidates. This is the starting rate for those without supervisory experience, but usually, you do need assembly line or other relevant manufacturing experience to be hired in these roles. Candidates with more experience may be able to earn as much as $35 per hour.

CNC machinist

CNC stands for computer numerical controlled. CNC machines rely on computer programs to control machines that can include mills, lathes and saws. CNC machinists know how to operate these machines and ensure the programming and all elements are correct. This requires exacting attention to detail, as cutting materials even a fraction of a millimetre off can ruin them for downline processes.

CNC machinists typically need on-the-job training and can make $20 to $25 per hour on average. In high-demand areas, such as Alberta and British Columbia, CNC machinists can make a bit more. If you have experience as a CNC machinist, you may be able to command wages of $30 to $33 per hour.

maintenance mechanic

A maintenance mechanic is someone who manages the upkeep on factory equipment (or equipment in any manufacturing or industrial environment). That includes completing preventative maintenance and repairs as well as running tests to ensure machines are working properly. Typically, a maintenance mechanic has learned on-the-job skills or attended technical school to gain the knowledge for this position.

Starting wages for maintenance mechanics range from $20 to $27 per hour, and those with a few years or more of experience may be able to make $30 to $38 an hour.

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millwright

A millwright installs equipment in factories. They don't just work with new equipment, though. Millwrights might be charged with disassembling and reassembling equipment that needs to be moved and repairing equipment as necessary.

Millwrights are highly skilled and typically have vocational training or education. Starting pay for these positions range from $22 to $30 per hour in most regions in Canada. Millwrights with experience may be able to earn as much as $35 to $40 per hour.

production supervisor/manager

Production supervisors or managers oversee teams or entire factory floors. They are tasked with ensuring production is up to par so the company meets goals. They also handle employee issues, coach workers and attend to tasks such as scheduling. 

Supervisors, which typically oversee teams or lower-level processes, earn around $22 to $30 per hour. More senior managers or those who oversee entire departments or floors can earn $35 to $45 per hour.

electrician

Certified electricians may be required in manufacturing environments for a variety of reasons, including the production of certain electronic products and the management and repair of equipment. Electricians may also work to ensure factory electrical systems work safely and appropriately. 

Electricians typically have vocational training and certifications, and they can start around $25 to $33 per hour. More experienced professionals in these roles can make as much as $40 per hour.

enjoy competitive pay in your next manufacturing job

Pay isn't everything, and you may want to consider negotiating some other perks and compensation when you take on a new position. But pay is definitely important, which is why you should consider all your options before you say yes to an offer.

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