5 Benefits of a Long-Term Metal Fabrication Career

benefits of a long term metal fabrication career

At one time, it wasn’t uncommon for a worker to start and end their career at a single company, having spent decades moving through the ranks. The most recent Bureau of Labor statistics, however, show that the tenure of an average employee is about four years. Those in manufacturing had the highest tenure at just over five years.

Men and women considering a career in the metal fabrication industry can reap the benefits of a tenured career when the company reciprocates that dedication. The industry, in particular, offers many opportunities that other manufacturing sectors may not.

1. In-House Training and Certifications

There’s a lot of talk about school loans and escalating college tuitions lately. Not only is the investment for a four-year degree high, more than 40% of recent graduates are working in jobs that don't require their degree. In fact, over the past 20 years there have been twice as many bachelor's degrees granted as jobs to employ those who’ve earned them.

These realities are helping to fuel a resurgence in the skilled trades, including precision welding and other manufacturing careers. Many metal fabrication companies provide on-the-job skills training and may even provide tuition reimbursement for training outside their facilities. 

Welders who want to advance their careers, for example, often go through training to become AWS certified in accordance with American Welding Society standards. This training is often offered through an employer. Fabricators that perform work for the military may also offer Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) certifications. Not only can an employer pay for this training, but the employee will earn a living wage while receiving that training rather than racking up student debt. Once completed, they’ll earn even more.

2. Competitive Wages and Benefits

Most manufacturing facilities offer benefits including life and health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off in addition to competitive wages. Certified welders earn higher wages that rival what many might earn after four years of college. When factoring a college student’s potential lost wages over that four-year period combined with any student debt they accrued, the true financial disparity can be eye-opening. 

Even those who enter manufacturing with little training can work their way up over time to earn an increasingly competitive wage, more responsibilities, and additional career opportunities within the company. Those who’ve committed to staying with an employer over the long term also earn more paid vacation time and may even be able to work more desirable hours or shifts. 

3. Career Growth Opportunities

A progressive metal fabrication company will invest in its employees and provide opportunities for advancement. Hiring and training new employees is costly for a company, so they value and reward employees who demonstrate loyalty and stability with promotions and higher responsibilities. Successful professionals, including many CEOs, typically dedicate themselves to a company and help it grow over the long term.

Welders, CNC machine operators, materials handlers, painters, and other positions typically require various skill levels. Through training and mentorship, many employees can help define their own career path. An ambitious attitude and willingness to learn can help an individual go far in a company.

RELATED: 5 Types of Jobs in Metal Fabrication

4. Wellness At and Away From Work

While many prospective employees place a significant emphasis on the financial package they’ll receive, they sometimes overlook the impact that a job can have on their personal well being. Some individuals still have an outdated perception that most manufacturing work environments are dirty, mundane, and unsafe. These are just a few of the common metal fabrication workplace myths that still stir in the minds of some. 

On the contrary, today’s high-tech manufacturing industries offer perks that can enhance a person’s life beyond a paycheck. Examples include wellness programs to help employees reach their health goals, safety programs, and activities both during and off work hours that simply make life and work more enjoyable. While today’s manufacturing industries are agile and production-driven, a progressive employer will provide a good work-life balance and allow the necessary time it takes to do that job right without creating a stressful atmosphere.  

5. Building Culture

Those who find themselves hopping from one job to the next often discover that the grass isn’t always greener. Eventually, a person might be overlooked for job opportunities when their resume shows multiple employers over a short period of time, indicating that they might not be dependable for the long term. 

But there’s something greater that they might miss out on. There’s something to be said for building teamwork and comradery among coworkers. Working closely with like-minded individuals creates opportunities for relationship building. Company-sponsored activities and events help foster a strong culture. Part of building culture also requires transparency, mutual respect, and sharing of ideas between employees and management. It needs to be a two-way street.

Are you ready to build a long-lasting career with an employer who values your contributions and is eager to help you grow and succeed? Explore Fox Valley Metal-Tech career opportunities, and contact our team today.

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