Let's Explore Manufacturing!

Welcome to the Manufacturing Pathway

Explore careers that focus on the transformation of raw materials or parts into new products. This pathway prepares students for diverse roles from CNC machine tool operators to industrial production managers, equipping them with the skills necessary to thrive in the manufacturing industry.

Careers Within the Industry

From operating machinery to managing production processes, careers in Manufacturing offer a wide array of opportunities to make a significant impact on product creation and innovation. Here are some exciting career paths you can explore:


Machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments.


Welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components.

Food Production Operators

Food Production Operators oversee the manufacturing process in the food and beverage industry.

CNC Machine Tool Operators

CNC Machine Tool Operators use computer-controlled machines or robots to perform functions on metal or plastic workpieces.

Industrial Engineers

Industrial Engineers design, develop, test, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes.

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other precision optical elements.

Wind Turbine Technicians

Wind Turbine Technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.

Industrial Production Managers

Industrial Production Managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants.

Manufacturing Careers in Action

Jared Robeson is an apprentice at Local 16 — the Sheet Metal Workers Union. On various construction projects, Robeson is welding, installing air conditioning units, and putting equipment together.

Is This Career Path Right for You?

If you enjoy using hand and power tools, operating machinery and equipment, performing activities that produce tangible results, working with your hands, or planning, organizing, and managing work, a career in Manufacturing might be perfect for you. This pathway is ideal for those who are practical, observant, coordinated, physically active, and step-by-step thinkers.

Essential Interests:

  • Enjoy using hand and power tools and operating machinery and equipment
  • Interested in performing activities that produce tangible results
  • Passionate about working with your hands and learning that way
  • Like planning, organizing, and managing work

Essential Skills:

  • Strong practical and observant nature
  • Good coordination and physical activity
  • Step-by-step thinking

Essential Knowledge:

  • Understanding of computer-aided drafting and design
  • Knowledge of manufacturing processes
  • Familiarity with machining and welding techniques

Career Planning Action Plan​

Get prepared for a career in Manufacturing!

STEP 1: start by taking classes in any of the following subject areas:

  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design: learn the principles of designing products using computer software.
  • Manufacturing: study the processes and techniques involved in manufacturing products.
  • Machining: gain skills in operating machine tools to produce precision parts.
  • Welding: learn the techniques of welding and joining metal components.

STEP 2: explore and plan your career path:

  • Meet with your advisor to discuss your interests.
  • Identify relevant classes and dual-credit opportunities.
  • Explore community activities for skill-building.
  • Research jobs on the Quality Info Website.

STEP 3: assess and refine your career goals:

  • Create a career and college plan with your advisor.
  • Complete the interest profile, skills assessment, and reality check on the Oregon CIS Website.
  • Watch Career Journey Videos to gain insights from industry professionals.

Meet Sassy, Your Career Exploration Guide

Sassy helps Oregon middle and high school students explore career and trade pathways.

Manufacturing Jobs in Oregon

Career Planning

High-demand Jobs in Oregon

Here are three careers in high demand right now in Oregon.

Helpers and Production Workers

Education: Less than High School to High School Diploma

Annual Average Wage: $37,106

Duties: Help production workers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying or holding materials or tools and cleaning the work area.

Why it's in demand: With the ongoing need for production support, there is a steady demand for helpers who can assist skilled workers and maintain the efficiency of production lines.

CNC Machine Tool Operators

Education: Associate’s Degree to Bachelor’s Degree

Annual Average Wage: $50,000

Duties: Use computer-controlled machines or robots to perform functions on metal or plastic workpieces.

Why it's in demand: With the advancement of manufacturing technology, skilled CNC machine tool operators are in high demand to produce precision components.

Industrial Engineers

Education: Bachelor’s Degree

Annual Average Wage: $85,000

Duties: Design, develop, test, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes.

Why it's in demand: As industries seek to optimize production processes, the demand for industrial engineers who can improve efficiency and productivity continues to rise.

Essential Student Links for Further Exploration

Career OneStop

Career OneStop Take this 30-question interest assessment to help you match your interests with exciting careers.

Link to Interest Assessment | Career OneStop
Career Journeys

Career Journeys Watch young Oregonians in high-demand trades share their career journeys and give you a window into their workday.

Watch the Career Journeys Stories
Oregon Career Pathways

Oregon Career Pathways: Explore career pathways through the Oregon Employment Department to understand the education and training needed for different occupations. Learn which jobs are in highest demand and what they pay.

Oregon Career Pathways
Oregon Department of Education Career Exploration

Community & Workforce Training: The Business and Management Career Learning Area focuses on the business and entrepreneurial needs of Oregon’s students as they prepare to enter and succeed in the world of business. The careers in this area span virtually every industry in the world.

Oregon Department of Education Business and Management Page
The Oregon Career Information System (CIS)

The Oregon Career Information System (CIS): provides a system of occupational and educational information to help Oregonians learn about the world of work and education. We work with schools, colleges, social agencies, and businesses who provide career guidance and employee development services. They use CIS products with their students, clients, customers, and employees to assist them with the process of career planning or career transition.

The Oregon Career Information System (CIS)

Connect with the CCL Team to discuss Career Pathways Using the Form Below: