Highest Paying Jobs in Manufacturing


If you’re looking for high-paying manufacturing jobs, it’s a great time to be in the field. According to the National Association of Manufacturers:

  • Manufacturers have one of the highest percentages of employees who are eligible for employer-provided health benefits.
  • Demand for manufacturing talent will remain strong. Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be needed – and roughly 2 million are expected to go unfilled.
  • Taken alone, manufacturing in the U.S. would be the ninth-largest economy in the world!

A healthy economy and ongoing candidate shortages are putting upward pressure on pay rates for manufacturing jobs. It’s an exciting time to enter this field, or just find a better opportunity within it.

But when it comes to manufacturing or other industrial positions, not all jobs are created equally – especially when it comes to salary. What manufacturing jobs pay the most? Our team has done the research to provide you with a sample of high-paying manufacturing careers for high school and college graduates:

Related post: Top-Paying Skilled Trades Careers

What are the highest paying manufacturing jobs?

(Wages and job descriptions are from Salary.com.)

Entry-Level Manufacturing Jobs for College Graduates 

Engineers (e.g., design, industrial, manufacturing, production)
Average annual salary: $64,277 to $66,587

Job description: Design Engineers help design new products and make improvements to existing products. Industrial engineers design equipment and/or machine layout to coordinate activities and production planning. Manufacturing engineers assist in planning and designing manufacturing processes for production facilities. Production engineers plan and design methods to improve production processes.  A bachelor’s degree is required for each of these jobs.

Configuration Analyst
Average annual salary: $63,409

Job description: Configuration analysts analyze the impact product design changes have on end-product design and function, and then determine and prepare the documentation necessary for change.

Quality Assurance Specialist
Average annual salary: $53,320

Job description: Quality assurance specialists develop and implement company and regulatory quality standards in a manufacturing facility. They use their knowledge of industry and governmental quality regulations to audit and review quality data according to existing knowledge and procedures.

High-Paying Manufacturing Jobs for High School Graduates

Average annual salary: $54,563

Job description: Millwrights install and maintain machinery and equipment using hoists, lift trucks, hand tools and power tools. Some jobs require additional certification.

Materials Planner
Average annual salary: $54,112

Job description: A materials planner reviews blueprints and product specifications to determine the amount of materials needed for production, documenting quantities, codes, brands and contact information necessary to process orders.

Field Operator (intermediate level)
Average annual salary: $50,862

Job description: Field operators set up, operate and troubleshoot a wide range of machines and/or equipment at a customer’s site, using blueprints and diagrams to select, position and secure machinery. A high school degree and apprenticeship and/or formal training is required.

Engineering Aide
Average annual salary: $47,956

Job description: An engineering aide typically reports to an engineering supervisor or manager, assisting them with their tasks and assignments.

Looking for high-paying manufacturing jobs?

PrideStaff places people in a wide range of manufacturing positions across the country, working with employers to ensure they offer the challenge, opportunity and great pay you need. Find the best manufacturing jobs here!