For decades now, theorists have been up in arms over the “death of manufacturing jobs” in the United States, including light industrial positions. You’ve probably heard that all of our manufacturing has moved overseas, or that people are being replaced by machines. But the truth is that light industrial jobs are just as plentiful and important as they ever were! Like everything else in life, they’re simply changing with the times. Let’s dispel the top three myths about the light industrial field.

Myth: Light industrial jobs are going away.

Fact: The industry is evolving, not dying.

Light industrial can be defined as a subset of manufacturing that focuses on smaller items and parts of larger items. It includes everything from home furnishings to food products to auto parts, many of which continue to be manufactured right here in the United States. Despite the global challenges of 2020 and 2021, this industry remains strong. After all, people still need to eat and drive and furnish their homes, right?

But it is true that the manufacturing industry as a whole is evolving. Today’s light industrial workers might work alongside machinery or robotics, or incorporate automation in their jobs. It doesn’t mean that jobs are being replaced, though. It simply means that workers are now free to focus on the tasks that require a human touch.

Myth: You don’t need tech skills for light industrial work.

Fact: Tech is becoming integrated into this field.

Of course, this evolution does mean that it’s a good idea to pick up some basic tech skills. Maybe you’ve heard of the Internet of Things. This refers to smart devices, from wearables to refrigerators, that are capable of storing and sharing information. Odds are good that you’ll work on these devices at some point in your light industrial career, and that you’ll use computers and other technology as part of your daily job duties. Fear not though if you don’t consider yourself “tech-savvy”, there are many ‘entry-level’ opportunities that exist in these fields. Lots of companies even prefer to bring in novices, and train them up in the ways of the organization. There are ample opportunities to enter a role as an Assistant or Apprentice while learning the tools of the trade, then advancing to higher levels as new skills are acquired.

Myth: Light industrial work is “blue collar.”

Fact: Blue collar and white collar are outdated concepts.

At one time, the world divided pretty neatly into “blue collar” hands-on jobs and “white collar” office positions. But today, those labels are largely irrelevant. As tech becomes part of the manufacturing line, and more and more companies focus on promoting from within, jobs are becoming less siloed. Learn as much as you can about your industry, pick up as many skills as you can from across the spectrum, and you’ll be in good shape to build a career path!

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