Manufacturing jobs today include machinist, welder and assembler. In the future, the list might add cybersecurity strategist, digital twin architect and collaborative robotics specialist.
That’s according to a new report released by the Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute, a research consortium in Chicago that includes universities and companies, and Milwaukee-based staffing agency Manpower Group. The report identifies 165 jobs in advanced manufacturing that could exist in the future and lays out the skills those workers will need.
The report, which took more than a year to produce, is meant to help both employers and workers identify necessary future skills, said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, chief executive at UI Labs, home to the digital manufacturing institute, whose members include Boeing, Caterpillar and Illinois Tool Works. “If we can’t describe what skills those workers need, then we don’t know how to prepare them,” she said.
Here’s what the report says about four of those potential future jobs:
Chief digital officer. Leads a company’s digital manufacturing strategy, developed from market, operational and customer data. Responsible for revenue from digitally enabled products and services, and for finding operational savings. Requires at least 12 years of experience, five in a senior marketing or tech role, and an MBA is preferred.
Digital twin architect. Develops a digital representation, or “twin,” of a manufacturing product, process or system. Requires a master’s or doctorate in software, engineering or math and more than 15 years’ experience in software engineering.
Collaborative robotics specialist. Designs and implements new automation systems, trains other workers to use them and fixes them when they break. The new systems might improve safety, increase production, enhance precision or automate repetitive tasks that nevertheless continue to require workers nearby. Requires an associate or bachelor’s degree in automation or engineering and at least five years’ experience in production or maintenance.
Predictive maintenance system specialist. Uses data collected from machinery to predict when it will need maintenance, reducing unscheduled production stops due to broken machinery. Requires a bachelor’s in mechanical or electrical engineering and mastery of analytics tools. As Nowinski said, “It sounds fancy, but really it’s a person who can use sensors on a machine.”
The report can be found at UI Labs’ website.