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Career Cluster


The manufacturing career cluster contains critical operations that have far-reaching impacts throughout the world regardless of industry or occupation. It is important to prepare individuals for employment in the career pathways related to the field. It is also necessary to note the specific areas that apply to manufacturing and the skills needed within its pathways. This publication hopes to accomplish just that.

There are a wealth of occupations across numerous industries in the manufacturing career cluster, many of which prove to be crucial to the state's economy as well as to national and global success. This includes occupations such as assemblers and fabricators, welders, production works, engineers, and so much more. Workers in these occupations have the opportunity to make a large impact in the world while working with their hands.

The manufacturing career cluster allows individuals a wide range of tasks in which to focus, but there are basic skills needed that encompass most of the occupations in the field. These include skills such as equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, critical thinking, and much more. Basic skills also include those that are important in everyday life including oral and written comprehension, deductive reasoning, mathematics, monitoring, and more. Along with these general skills, workers in the manufacturing field will also be expected to acquire specific skills corresponding to their respective occupations such as skills involving welding, computer aided design software, 3D modeling software, etc.

In the manufacturing industry, there are two pathways one can take with six total programs of study. An individual can go through the maintenance, installation and repair pathway, which has two programs of study: Industrial Equipment Technologies and Major Appliance Technology, or the manufacturing production pathway, which has four programs of study: Electronics, Advanced Manufacturing, Precision Machine Manufacturing, and Welding. It is important that these individuals make their decisions about which part of the manufacturing industry they would like to be a part of in order to enter the pathway that will most interest them.

For example, if an individual wants to venture down the path of manufacturing production with a focus on welding, he or she will need to take the proper courses to gain the appropriate skills and abilities, such as arm-hand steadiness, control precision, and manual dexterity, in order to be successful in the field.
Individuals working in the manufacturing career cluster typically require at least a high school diploma, although there are specific cases in which it that might not be necessary, or cases in which it might be more beneficial to possess a higher degree.

Occupations in this cluster include maintenance and repair workers, mechanical engineering technologists and technicians, welders, computer numerically controlled tool operators, and many more.

What are some of the manufacturing degree and certification programs?

There are lots of degree and certification options in Arkansas through the various universities, colleges and technical schools. Here are just a few of the programs:

Manual Machine Operator
Aviation Maintenance Technology
Manufacturing Technology
Automotive Technology
Automated Manufacturing Systems
Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Operator
Diesel Technology
Tractor and Trailer Servicing
Machine Shop
Industrial Maintenance Technology
Power Sports
Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Engineering Technology
Industrial Technology
Automated Processes
Electrical Systems
Aviation Maintenance Airframe
Mechanical Engineering