Note: This is the second in complementary articles on advanced manufacturing. Read this article for specifics on training and degrees and then read this article covering actual work and careers within the advanced manufacturing field.
What kind of person is a natural fit for an advanced manufacturing job and what kind of skills might you need? “People who are mechanically inclined are naturally predisposed to the field of advanced manufacturing,” says Lauren Roberts Clements, vice president of human resources at Valveworks USA. “Can you change a tire? Are you someone who played with Legos growing up and liked to build things?”
Advanced manufacturing is the use of new technology, improved processes and management methods to enhance the manufacturing of products. In Louisiana, manufacturing and advanced manufacturing jobs are plentiful and well paying.
As a wholesale stocking manufacturer and distributor of gate valves, gate valve parts and wellhead components, Valveworks USA relies heavily on technicians and machinists in producing its products. Technicians work in a variety of departments and stages within the manufacturing process including inspection, assembly, pressure testing, inventory control and more. There are options when it comes to training to be a technician. You can earn an actual degree as a certified production technician, which takes about eight weeks. You can also receive a two-year degree in automation and controls and advanced mechatronics at a local community and technical college. A machinist, a person who operates a machine that takes raw materials and turns out a product, is a slightly different training path.
“For machinists, we are looking for mechanically inclined people who are fast learners,” says Roberts Clements. “We do a lot of in-house training and want team members who can quickly master a skill and put that skill into action.”
In addition to welders and other trade skills, the lack of machinists across Louisiana makes these employees some of the most sought after for positions across the state.
“Companies here in Louisiana like Bentler Steel, Nucor, Libby Glass and us at Valveworks are always on the lookout to fill technician and especially machinist job openings,” says Lauren Roberts Clements.
Looking for a career in advanced manufacturing? Register on Louisiana Job Connection today to see if you’re a match.