Parents' Misconceptions Affect Career Choices
Posted on September 30th, 2015

From American Welding Society:  Teenagers often complain that their parents don’t understand them. And now a new survey reveals that parents may also have trouble understanding the potential of a career in manufacturing. And it’s costing many kids a future.

The 2015 Parents’ Perceptions of Manufacturing Survey, sponsored by SkillsUSAand the Alcoa Foundation, found that 1 in 5 parents believe manufacturing jobs only pay minimum wage salaries, lack benefits, and won’t provide their child with innovative, intellectually stimulating work. Nearly 9 in 10 parents estimated the average hourly wage for manufacturing jobs at $22 an hour or less. The survey was given to 1,035 US parents of children between ages 6 and 17, enough respondents to assume that the survey’s findings are accurate: within 3% of a 95% confidence rating. That means a majority of parents in the US still believe in the long-standing stereotype that manufacturing careers like welding are low-paying, dead-end, grunt-work jobs for uneducated people.

Fortunately, industry data shows that parents’ fears are largely unfounded. According to data from the Manufacturing Institute, the industry average is really $34 per hour. The average annual salary for entry-level manufacturing engineers is $60,000, with plenty of room to grow as the worker gains experience and certifications. The manufacturing industry provides medical benefits for 9 in 10 workers. The industry also has the highest job tenure in the private sector, based on data from the US Department of Commerce. Careers like welding  [Manufacturing-Myths-Blog-Image] and weld inspection also offer plenty of opportunities to travel and meet interesting new people, if adventure is a career priority.

However, the negative stereotypes surrounding manufacturing has plagued the industry for some time.  Information about the benefits and growth potential of manufacturing careers is readily available, but many parents don’t do the research. The stereotypical image of manufacturing is so pervasive that most assume they already have all the facts.

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