Electrical & Mechanical Maintenance Technicians
Nearly everything in manufacturing incorporates a computer or electronic circuitry. And the technology keeps getting more complex. Technicians are the brains or builders behind these vital tools.
As manufacturers become increasingly dependent on the use of high-tech equipment, it's critical to have a highly-skilled staff of individuals who can keep these advanced systems operating efficiently. If you love working with your hands and problem solving, these positions could be a perfect match for you.
Denver is one of the top paying cities in the US for electromechanical technicians.Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance Technician's number one priority is making sure the machines run smoothly. Techs can be responsible for the installation as well as routine inspection and maintenance of equipment. Observation and analytical skills come into play when troubleshooting an issue. Many times technicians use computers or software to help inspect and diagnose issues with a machine.
The Fort Collins/Loveland area is one of the top ten highest employers of industrial engineering technicians.Due to the advancement in technology, a foundational understanding of both mechanical and electronic principles is ideal for individuals in these roles. A post-secondary education consisting of an Associate's degree is highly recommended when pursing this career path. Opportunities for growth and advancement into engineering or production/operations are possible with further education and experience.
Engineering / R&D
You’ll be involved in the entire scope of the manufacturing process, helping companies to produce high-quality products in the most cost-efficient way.
Engineers don’t only dream it – they have a knack for figuring out how to do it by combining ingenuity and advanced technical abilities. Fundamentally, (usually by applying math and science) engineering is about problem solving. In manufacturing, some engineering roles focus on the development and creation of cutting-edge parts or products, while others focus on evaluating the manufacturing process to discover where refinement and improvements can be made.
Before products can be manufactured, they have to be developed. Engineers are a vital component of the product research and development process, determining how something should perform, and then verifying that it can indeed perform in the intended way. Today, this could include anything from wind turbine compressors to medical and dental devices.
Manufacturers are also continually looking for ways to increase production and profits. Engineers analyze the manufacturing process to see where and how production can be made more efficient and reliable. Examples of this include improvements to quality control or new strategies for product assembly.
Most engineering positions require a Bachelor’s degree but areas of entry to these jobs can be through the roles of an engineering technician or industrial designer.
Logistics & Supply Chain
Logistics typically refers to the distribution process within a single company whereas the supply chain includes several companies.
Logistics and supply chain management are two of the most rapidly expanding sectors of the advanced manufacturing industry. Each of these careers offers a lot of room for advancement and are a good place to develop your talents.
Supply chains develop among companies that come into contact with a particular product. The supply chain for most products will encompass all the companies manufacturing parts for the product, assembling it, delivering it, and selling it. Supply chain management professionals proactively operate at the center of an organization, interacting with all other departments in the organization, including finance, sales and marketing, operations management, and with suppliers and customers located around the world. Managing this process to maintain efficiency and effectiveness is both challenging and rewarding.
There are many exciting possibilities for long-term growth and career advancement - especially as globalization continues to bring increased complexity to the industry - the need for skilled professionals will further expand.
Machinist Operator / Programmer
Combine your knowledge of machining and computers to develop programs, setup, and operate machines to fabricate parts.
A career as a machinist operator or programmer provides challenging, satisfying, technical work. Especially as manufacturers are producing high precision parts for a variety of industries – from household items to parts for the aerospace and defense industries. Machinists setup and operate a variety of precision metal cutting and grinding machines such as lathes, milling machines, drills, shapers, boring mills, and grinders to fabricate a variety of parts. Those specializing in one type of machine may be referred to by the machine type, such as a Press Brake Operator.
More and more, parts are being machined in factories using Computer Numerically Controlled, or CNC, machines. Individuals operating machines can do straight cuts but also do curves or 3-D surfaces, allowing them to build and create unique and complex parts. An understanding of the machines as well as the programs that run the machines is necessary. Positions could include a CNC Programmer, who is responsible for programming the machine to perform the required steps or a CNC Operator, who is responsible for operating and monitoring the production of the specified parts.
Most operators and programmers are trained on the job and in apprenticeships, but some complete programs through community colleges and technical schools. If you like to see tangible results of your skill and effort these positions are a great career choice for you.
Production & Assembly
These interesting careers involve the fabrication and alignment of parts to construct a variety of products - ranging from electronics to motor vehicles to wind turbines!
A production and assembly worker usually fabricates parts and joins them together to construct products like electronics, aircraft, automobiles, and household appliances. Some workers specialize in a particular part, such as electric motors, or a type of product, such as office machinery.
Important components of this occupation can be starting, operating, tending to and cleaning machines in addition to assembling the finished product. This position may include inspections of products to ensure high quality. This job involves not only operating machinery but sometimes also involves troubleshooting production line machinery and computers. Another important component of this work is quality control and making adjustments as necessary to produce the product within specifications.
Opportunities for growth and acquisition of new skills include learning about things like brazing, wiring, and insulating. Production testing, sorting, and inspecting are other areas for possible career growth. For those interested in advancing to management, the position of production manager is another good option. Production managers ensure that goods and services are produced efficiently and that the correct amount is produced at the right cost and appropriate level of quality.
This career is ideal for individuals who are mechanically minded and want to be a part of something bigger.
Quality Assurance / Control
Maintain the integrity of production with thorough observation and evaluation of the processes and products.
Maintaining quality is essential in the manufacturing industry. This is done through quality control and quality assurance. Quality control is product oriented and ensures the results of what you have done are what you expected. Inspecting components or final products is necessary before, during, and after the manufacturing process so products are working in the way they are intended and are safe to sell.
Keen observation and attention to detail are valued characteristics for individuals in quality control roles. Products can be inspected in a variety of ways from sampling or visual inspections to conducting more advanced tests on components or a product with specialized instruments. Good communication skills are important in clearly articulating findings, and if corrective action needs to be taken, working with production staff to find and correct the problem.
Quality assurance is process oriented and makes sure the right things are done in the right way. Quality assurance is achieved through the development, implementation, and continual improvement of systems. Through evaluation and analysis, you can enable change to improve the process of how something is created.
Educational requirements for quality roles vary based on the employer. On the job training is important for these roles, and some formal education may be necessary, depending on the complexity or specialization required.
Use your technical know-how and outgoing personality to drive business by connecting customers to the right solutions.
If the phrase, “if you build it, they will come,” were true, employers wouldn't need marketing and salespeople. But they do. Sales experts help inform the customer about the product and determine the best solution for the customer’s needs. Because of the complexity of products, or unique solutions customers are looking for, sales and marketing teams often work with production or engineering departments to understand how products and services could be designed or modified to suit customers' needs. Because of the complex nature of this work, building a relationship with the client is very important.
Marketing folks are responsible for conducting market research and developing messaging and propositions that resonate with the company’s customer base. Again, a good foundation of technical knowledge is extremely beneficial. Some individuals who eventually move into sales start out on the more technical side in production or engineering roles. Some marketing or sales workers can even have an influence on new products - because they have their pulse on the marketplace.
A career in sales or marketing is ideal if you're a “go getter”, enjoy working with people, and have a true interest is helping customers find the right solution.
Welder / Solderer
Welding is an indispensable skill requiring precise hand-eye coordination. With today's high-tech equipment, welding plays a role in just about anything involving large metal parts.
If you like working with your hands and have great attention to detail, an exciting and rewarding career in welding may be in your future. Welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to follow a specific design or blueprint to join metal components or fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products to create the desired product. You’ll also be responsible for making sure welding machinery and equipment is in working order.
With advancements in technology, there is almost no limit to what welding can do. Some welders are even being trained to operate robots and other automated systems to bond metals. Because welding sometimes requires working with dangerous tools, having a safety-focused mind-set and ensuring you wear the appropriate protective gear are a necessity.
Education requirements to become a welder will vary by employer, with some only requiring a high school diploma and others requiring an Associate’s degree. Hands on experience and industry-endorsed certifications are always a plus. A career in welding is a great choice if you enjoy fixing things, like to problem-solve, and have a logical mind.
The variety of advancement opportunities into fields such as robotics, inspection, engineering, or project management makes a career in welding a great choice. If you’re a welder through-and-through, career progression can include supervisory and training roles as well.