Manufacturing offers opportunities in careers beyond production. People are needed to maintain and repair factory equipment and machinery such as conveyors and packaging equipment.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has many programs leading to certifications and associate degrees in industrial maintenance technology. In addition, industrial machinery mechanics typically complete several months of on-the-job training.
- Industrial machinery mechanics: 12.39 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 9,067 to 10,190 jobs. Median wage $53,892.
For heavy-duty installation of equipment, manufacturing requires the skills of a millwright.
The top-paying industries for millwrights are motor vehicle manufacturing and aerospace parts and products manufacturing. The Louisville-Jefferson County area is among the Top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation with the highest employment levels for millwrights, according to 2020 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most millwrights go through an apprenticeship that may last up to four years.
- Millwrights, 10.79 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 908 to 1,006 jobs. Median wage $51,419.
Electrical and electronic repairs
Electrical and electronics repair workers can learn the trade through courses at local community and technical colleges. They also complete on-the-job training lasting one month to a year.
- Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment: 3.95 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 709 to 737 jobs. Median wage $58,237.
Maintenance of industrial equipment requires the efforts of many skilled trades. According to 2016 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing nationwide employed 61 percent of all welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers, and 8 percent of all electricians. In Kentucky, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers have a median wage of $40,299, and electricians, $53,557.
Figures from Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.