Employment of production occupations is projected to decline 4 percent, with a loss of about 406,900 jobs from 2016 to 2026. Technological advancements are expected to continue to replace many of the manufacturing workers that make up a large share of the production occupations. Fewer workers are expected to be needed in the manufacturing sector as many processes have become computer-controlled.

The median annual wage for production occupations was $33,990 in May 2017, which was lower than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690. 

OccupationEntry-Level Education2017 MEDIAN PAY
Assemblers and FabricatorsHigh school diploma or equivalent$31,850
BakersNo formal educational credential$25,690
ButchersNo formal educational credential$30,890
Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance TechniciansHigh school diploma or equivalent$35,250
Food and Tobacco Processing Workers$27,630
Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal WorkersHigh school diploma or equivalent$37,960
Machinists and Tool and Die Makers$44,110
Metal and Plastic Machine Workers$35,400
Painting and Coating Workers$36,010
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and DispatchersHigh school diploma or equivalent$80,440
Quality Control InspectorsHigh school diploma or equivalent$37,340
Stationary Engineers and Boiler OperatorsHigh school diploma or equivalent$59,890
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System OperatorsHigh school diploma or equivalent$46,150
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and BrazersHigh school diploma or equivalent$40,240
WoodworkersHigh school diploma or equivalent$30,850
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Protective Service Occupations, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/home.htm