Advances in technology will be pulling manufacturing jobs away from China and bringing them back to the US, according to business trends spotted by Foreign Policy. The next generation of robots is less expensive than human manufacturing labor in China. We can expect to see more robots on the assembly line and we will need candidates to fill positions at the facilities that will be housing robotic labor.
Below are the most in-demand occupations for robotics skills in manufacturing:
- Maintenance Technician
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Controls Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Weld Engineer
- Process Engineer
- Automation Technician
Based on these titles, it doesn't look like robots will be taking over. Robots need caretakers for installation, handling, maintenance, troubleshooting, management, programming, and operation.
We may not have assembly workers like we once did, but this is an indication of new skill demand and potential job growth in the US labor market. As you can see in the chart below, volume of job listings online for robotics skilled workers in manufacturing has been rising. Hiring demand for robotics workers in manufacturing surpassed pre-recession demand in March 2012 with over 700 job ads. Since it's lowest point during the recession, hiring for this skill increased 218%.
Hiring Demand Growth Chart – 4 Year Hiring Trend
It appears moderately difficult to hire a professional skilled in robotics. However, when combining this skill with manufacturing experience, the search for talent becomes even more difficult. The green in the Hiring Scale heat map below highlights areas that are less difficult to recruit in. Atlanta, GA has the most favorable conditions for sourcing talent. Cleveland, OH and Detroit, MI have the highest demand, most likely for auto and auto parts manufacturing. San Jose, CA has the largest supply of candidates – probably due to vast amount of tech knowledge in the Silicon Valley area that creates the automation software used in robotics.
Fitting with the areas of the highest job volume, auto and auto parts manufacturing make the list of industries with the most demand for robotics skills. They are also accompanied by some healthcare and machinery related industries. Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing has seen the highest growth in the past year.
Most In-Demand Industries for Robotics Skills in Manufacturing