Lisa Katz and Rebecca Cohen
According to a recent Manpower survey of more than 1,300 U.S. employers, the jobs that are most difficult to fill nationwide include skilled trades, engineers, and IT professionals among others. Patterns are similar in Southeast Michigan, where engineering and IT jobs have topped the list, with various skilled trades positions, such as welders, machinists and computer numeric control operators and programmers, in high demand.
According to analysis conducted by the Workforce Intelligence Network, combined online job postings for welders, cutters, machinists, CNC operators and programmers in Michigan (identified in the skilled trades graph above) exceeded all other states over the past three months. Employers appear to have a difficult time finding enough CNC machine operators. Southeast Michigan has seen exceptional demand for CNC machine programmers and operators, with between 100-250 real-time postings every month since February 2011. The region accounts for more than half of CNC demand statewide.
To become a CNC machinist, the State of Michigan says, “a person must have at least a high school diploma (or the GED) and experience working in manufacturing and especially with machinery and computers. Some employers require new machinists to complete a training program at a trade school or community college, assume an apprenticeship at a shop, or both.” Wages range from $12/hr for entry level workers to $26/hour for experienced hires.