U.S. Public Perception of Industrial Manufacturing


  • To understand the public perception of industrial manufacturing in the US by geographic region and age/generation, what people are concerned about and what they are optimistic about in industrial manufacturing.

Early Findings

General Perceptions
  • According to a 2017 survey conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, less than 3 in 10 Americans surveyed stated that they would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing. The result of this is that parents of Gen Z and younger are not encouraging their children to consider manufacturing as a viable career option. Reasons parents gave for not encouraging their children to consider working in manufacturing include negative assumptions they made about the "stability, growth opportunities and salaries in the industry."
  • Americans familiar with manufacturing, however, were two times more likely to encourage their children to consider working in manufacturing than other respondents, according to the same 2017 survey.
  • This survey revealed some direct assumptions and opinions people had towards manufacturing in 2017.
  • According to this survey:
  • 43% of respondents believe manufacturing jobs are interesting and rewarding,
  • 32% believe they are clean and safe,
  • 28% believe manufacturing jobs are stable and provide job security relative to jobs in other industries.
Perception by Generation
  • Generation Z, consisting of people aged 22 years old or younger, have a more positive perception of manufacturing than prior generations and are 7% more likely to consider working in manufacturing than the general population.
  • According to a recent survey by Leading2Lean, 27% of Gen Z, 26% of Millennials, 17% of Gen X, and 14% of Baby Boomers stated they would consider working in manufacturing.
  • When surveyed, 43% of Gen Z respondents agreed that manufacturing jobs are an attractive option to the next generation of workers and 59% of Generation Z agreed that "trade schools offer promising career opportunities for high school students graduating in 2019
Summary of the Findings Relevant to the Results
  • Our first hour of research provided some percerptions members of the general public have towards industrial manufacturing as well as the perceptions of one age group, Generation Z. We found that of all generations, Gen Z has the most positive perception and is the most likely to consider a career in manufacturing.
  • We did not have time in our first hour to find information on the perceptions held by geographical region, what people are concerned about or what they are optimistic about in industrial manufacturing.

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