Industry Spotlight: Advanced Manufacturing

Industry Summary

Advanced manufacturing is a fast-paced, team-oriented industry that brings ideas into reality. From nanotechnology to robotics, innovative ideas happen every day. You can bring these raw ideas into the must-have products that improve the lives of those around you. If this interests you, then a career in advanced manufacturing might be right for you.

Careers in advanced manufacturing will provide livable wages, benefits, and opportunity for advancement. Wages in Advanced Manufacturing averaged $62,900 in 2017, higher than the $47,810 state average for all industries.

Advanced manufacturing is a very important industry in the St. Louis region. Specifically, St. Louis is one of the largest hubs of aerospace manufacturing in the country, supporting over 17,000 generally high-wage positions. Aerospace manufacturing generated $10.4 billion in total regional output in 2014. Other major goods exported from the region from the advanced manufacturing sector included motor vehicles, basic chemicals, petroleum and coal products, and nonferrous metal products.

Video Feature

Gary Markwardt- Machine Operator

This video is provided in partnership with Nine Network’s American Graduate Initiative

Entry-Level Occupations

Entry level occupations require training beyond a high school diploma but less than a college degree. Training for these roles typically requires a non-degree certificate or credential, associate’s degree, or apprenticeship program. If you are interested in pursuing an Advanced Manufacturing career, consider the following roles.

Assembly Line Worker: (SOC: 49-3021)

  • Entry Salary: $29,290
  • Median Salary: $45,300
  • Annual Projected Openings in Missouri: 380

Entry Level Machinist: (SOC: 49-3023.01)

  • Entry Salary: $26,540
  • Median Salary: $45,210
  • Annual Projected Openings in Missouri: 1,760
There are short term training programs in St. Louis for these roles. 

Training Programs


Saint Louis Community College- Boeing Pre-Employment Training Program

Build something amazing. STLCC offers two training pathways for assembly mechanic jobs at Boeing. The training is free and ideal for those who are mechanically inclined and able to pass pre-screening assessments. Not only will you develop the important technical skills and soft skills that Boeing seeks, as a graduate, you will be guaranteed an interview with Boeing. Click here for a full listing of this program. 

Ranken Technical College:

Ranken has a variety of high quality programs that can propel your career in the advanced manufacturing industry. Click here for a full listing of the programs offered at Ranken.

To search all Advanced Manufacturing training programs listed on Blueprint4Careers,

Next Steps

It is important to think about your long term plans as you embark on your advanced manufacturing career. The recommended RYEC approved programs are just the first step in your journey. You can further propel your career by obtaining additional credentials and a bachelor’s degree. Below are some roles that you could consider as long term goals.

Next Occupations: (Typically require an bachelor’s degree or higher)

  • Engineer

Top Regional Employers: 

  • The Boeing Company
  • Emerson Electric Co.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
  • LMI Aerospace Inc.
  • Orbital ATK
  • Eaglepicher Tech., Inc.
  • Northrop Grumman

               Source: MERIC: The top five employers for the 6-month period of Aug. 1, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019, making up nearly one-third (31%) of total job postings.

Career Ladder

Here is a sample career ladder you can use to help plan your future.

Current High School Students

Are you looking for opportunities to learn about these jobs while in high school? Reach out to a counselor in your school. Also, check out these resources available: 

If you live or attend school in North St. Louis County- click here

If you live or attend school in South St. Louis County- click here

If you live in St. Louis City- click here

If you live in St. Charles County- click here

If you live in Jefferson County- click here

If you live in Collinsville, Illinois- click here

If you live in East St. Louis- click here