Although manufacturing often brings to mind huge, wide open factory floors, it also includes small businesses. Manufacturing businesses can range from in-home bakeries to large corporations like Intel. One thing most manufacturing businesses have in common: increasing use of technology. From roastmasters who use programmable coffee roasting machines to industrial engineering technicians who operate 3-D printers that make metal parts, manufacturing is quite different than it was even a decade ago.

Manufacturing workers change materials, substances, or components into new products. Manufactured goods include or are made from chemicals, computers and electronics, fabricated metal products, food, machinery, plastics and rubber products, or transportation equipment. While businesses still hire workers for traditional mass production of simple products, manufacturing jobs increasingly use technologies that enable workers to customize, shorten production time, and create lighter weight, more durable products.

Manufacturing includes occupations with a variety of education and experience backgrounds, but job numbers have been decreasing in occupations that require the least amount of education. New Mexico’s growth careers in manufacturing often involve installing, maintaining, and repairing increasingly technical equipment. Industries most likely to hire this cluster’s workers include Computer & Electronic Product, chemical and non-metal, and food and beverage manufacturers.