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Employment in production occupations is projected to show little or no change, with a loss of about 39,000 jobs from 2020 to 2030. Technological advancements are expected to continue to replace many of the manufacturing workers that make up a large share of the production occupations. Fewer workers are expected to be needed in the manufacturing sector as many processes have become computer-controlled.

The median annual wage for production occupations was $37,710 in May 2021, which was lower than the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760. 

BLS provides summary data, including employment projections, for production occupations not shown in the table on this page. That information is available on the Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail page.

  OCCUPATION JOB SUMMARY ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2021 MEDIAN PAY Help
Assemblers and fabricators Assemblers and Fabricators

Assemblers and fabricators build finished products and the parts that go into them.

High school diploma or equivalent $37,170
Bakers Bakers

Bakers mix ingredients according to recipes in order to make breads, pastries, and other baked goods.

No formal educational credential $29,750
butchers and meat cutters image Butchers

Butchers cut, trim, and package meat for retail sale.

No formal educational credential $36,050
Dental laboratory technicians Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians make or repair dentures, eyeglasses, prosthetics, and related products.

High school diploma or equivalent $39,090
Food and tobacco processing workers Food Processing Equipment Workers

Food processing equipment workers operate machinery that mixes, cooks, or processes ingredients for manufacturing food products.

See How to Become One $35,430
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers design, construct, adjust, repair, appraise and sell jewelry.

High school diploma or equivalent $46,640
Machinists and tool and die makers Machinists and Tool and Die Makers

Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate equipment to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.

See How to Become One $47,940
Metal and plastic machine workers Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate equipment that cuts, shapes, and forms metal and plastic materials or pieces.

See How to Become One The annual wage is not available.
Painting and coating workers Painting and Coating Workers

Painting and coating workers apply finishes, often using machines, to a range of products.

See How to Become One $38,670
Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers

Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers control the systems that generate and distribute electric power.

High school diploma or equivalent $94,790
Quality control inspectors Quality Control Inspectors

Quality control inspectors examine products and materials for defects or deviations from specifications.

High school diploma or equivalent $38,580
Stationary engineers and boiler operators Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

Stationary engineers and boiler operators control stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment.

High school diploma or equivalent $63,500
Water and liquid waste treatment plant and system operators Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

High school diploma or equivalent $47,880
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join, repair, or cut metal parts and products.

High school diploma or equivalent $47,010
Woodworkers Woodworkers

Woodworkers manufacture a variety of products, such as cabinets and furniture, using wood, veneers, and laminates.

High school diploma or equivalent $36,710

Last Modified Date: Monday, April 18, 2022