The manufacturing industry accounts for more than 12% of the gross domestic product in the UK and produces well over half of her exports. The industry also provides employment for about 2.5 million people, who work in a diversity of production roles throughout the UK. The East Midlands, however, is the region currently employing the highest percentage of manufacturing professionals in the UK.
Recruitment agencies regularly list opportunities for Production Operators, CNC Machinists, Production Assemblers, and Quality Inspectors, and there are many positions offered for jobseekers with all levels of experience and expertise. It is typical for entry-level positions to pay about £16-20K annually. But the industry is one in which salaries increase steadily as workers acquire skills and competence. The top 10% of earners make upwards of £45,000. Overall, average salaries throughout most parts of the UK range from about £25 to 30K, while those working in London average nearly £43K annually.
Apprenticeships are a popular way to gain entry into the field, as many positions require extensive on-the-job training. Academic degrees and special qualifications are rarely necessary for most junior positions. Employers look for well-organised, efficient professionals who work well in teams. Skills in basic mathematics and aptitude working with mechanical instruments are also beneficial.