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Manufacturing a Career on the Factory Floor: Part 7

Posted by Stephanie Austin on Tue, Jul 11, 2023 @ 07:27 AM

This blog series intends to shatter some "manufacturing myths".  Sometimes there is a perception of manufacturing being dirty, dead-end, unskilled, monotonous and boring.The reality is, it's bright, clean, fulfilling, hi-tech, versatile and rewarding!

I had the privilege of interviewing some Zentech employees - a way of humanizing the manufacturing industry to demonstrate why you may want to consider a manufacturing career.

Kay - Assistant Quality Manager, Zentech Bloomington

Stephanie: How did you get into manufacturing? 

Kay: Manufacturing was actually my first job. I started with it because I knew it was stable income. As an 18-year-old, I liked that it came with benefits. I was there for 4 years, and it was the best job I ever had.  I just fell in love with the flexibility of it; learning a bunch of different trades under one roof by people who’ve been doing it for 20+ years. I liked that I could just jump in as an inexperienced person and do that without going to school, spending extra time and money. I was getting onsite experience while getting paid. I still remember so many skills that I learned. I’ve been at a few other jobs and definitely there and here at Zentech have been the best.  

Stephanie: How long have you been here? 

Kay: I’ve only been here for a year. Overall, I have just 7 years’ experience in manufacturing. I can have a personal style that doesn’t inhibit me from getting hired and doing my job well. Manufacturing really focuses on what you can do.  

Stephanie: Is everything you do each day different, versatile? 

For me, the job that I have right now is very flexible. I am the assistant to the Quality Manager. That means I handle things on the fly. There are some set deadlines, but a lot is handling things as they come. Whether it’s a customer return or wanting to get ahead of an issue.  

Stephanie: I think that’s the cool thing about manufacturing; it’s a different challenge every day, but I think a lot of people might not realize this. They may think it’s monotonous or repetitive. Yes, we are building things over and over but for us each build is different. 

Kay: “Monotony” is not always a bad thing – you come to work, you know what to expect, you know what you are doing, you can just keep plugging away and listen to podcasts and I would rather that than look at a computer all day. In a way it’s relaxing. Especially if you like to see how things work.  

If you don’t want to go to years of school for engineering, jump into the hands-on side of it and manufacturing will start you off with good pay.

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