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4 Types of Manufacturing Jobs and Which One is Best

The manufacturing industry has a wide range of job positions that require different skill sets and abilities. Positions can range anywhere from management jobs to maintenance jobs.


With all the different types of manufacturing jobs out there, it can be difficult to know which is the best fit and what role you’ll find the most success in.


In this post, we’re breaking down 4 common types of manufacturing jobs. Once you know more about each of these positions, the job search process is easier and can be narrowed down to your specific skill set and experience.


Production Operator


A Production Operator is one of the positions within the production department. A Production Operator is commonly referred to as a Machine Operator.


Production Operators perform typical machine operations to produce product. For example, they use PLC/ HMIs to read, monitor, interact with, and respond to the machines. A Production Operator is responsible for loading raw materials into the machines, troubleshooting, and performing basic preventative maintenance.


Skills and abilities that make for a great Production Operator include:


  • Strong mechanical aptitude and problem solving skills
  • The ability to work in teams
  • The ability to follow processes


A high school diploma or GED is often required for a position like this. Employers usually look for individuals with prior experience in a related position. However, if that employer has a good training program in place prior experience isn’t a must. At Drylock Production Operators complete 4 weeks of training.


Quality Control Technician 


A Quality Control Technician is one of the positions within the quality department. They test products and materials before, during, and after production to ensure that quality levels are met.


Quality Control Technicians report defects that could jeopardize customer satisfaction. They also help quarantine any product suspected of being defective. Along with that, Quality Control Technicians enter test data in Quality databases.


Skills and abilities that make for a great Quality Control Technician include:


  • Detail oriented
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data
  • Computer and statistical skills as applicable to quality control inspection in the manufacturing field.


A high school diploma or GED is often required for a position like this. Employers will generally look for applicants with prior experience in quality control, but it is not always required.


Logistics Coordinator


A Logistics Coordinator is one of the positions within the Supply Chain department. They spend much of their time in the warehouse completing general warehouse duties.


Logistics Coordinators operate bailing equipment to bind and compress materials. They help keep production lines clear of scrap materials. It is also common for Logistics Coordinators to utilize forklifts or clamp trucks. They pick and place product in the warehouse. They also stage, check, and load customer orders.


Skills and abilities that make for a great Logistics Coordinator include:


  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to adapt to frequent changes


A high school diploma or GED is often required for a position like this. Employers look for individuals with prior experience in Logistics related fields, but it isn’t necessary. At Drylock Logistics Coordinators complete three weeks of training. By the end of training Logistics Coordinators will also become forklift certified.


Maintenance Technician 


A Maintenance Technician is one of the positions within the maintenance department. They perform routine repairs and maintain machinery and mechanical equipment.


In a manufacturing environment Maintenance Technicians often perform preventative maintenance on the production equipment. Their job entails a lot of electrical or mechanical troubleshooting. They also help identify equipment and building problems.


Skills that make for a great maintenance technician include:


  • Strong troubleshooting skills in pneumatics, electrical, and mechanical equipment
  • Ability to read blueprints and schematics
  • Ability to use shop equipment and electrical instruments


A high school diploma or GED is required for a position like this. A technical degree is also preferred. Employers often look for individuals with prior experience in the maintenance field.


Which Job Type Is Best


After reviewing these 4 types of manufacturing jobs, choosing the best is based solely on personal preference. Each position plays a valuable role in the company, so evaluate yourself. Review what your skills are and determine how those skills align with each job type.

Here at Drylock Technologies, we are always looking for good people to add to our team. If you are interested in any of these job types or want to learn about other manufacturing jobs, contact us. We offer competitive starting wages, great benefits, and great employee growth potential.

5 Myths About Manufacturing Jobs

Manufacturing jobs come with several outdated and inaccurate myths.


In the past, manufacturing jobs had a connotation of being dirty, low-paying jobs.  These jobs were believed to be monotonous positions without very many opportunities to advance one’s career.


Fast forward to today’s fast paced manufacturing industry and you’ll see a clear difference between fact and fiction.


Myth #1: They Don’t Pay Very Well

Reality: In the Eau Claire area, many manufacturing positions are being paid $15-$20/hour, or nearly 2x-3x the state minimum wage.  When you add that to the fact that many manufacturers have very strong benefits packages, it makes the total compensation for manufacturing jobs a very strong part of the working economy.  For more information on the wages you can expect for manufacturing jobs in the Eau Claire area, see our blog post “Manufacturing Job Wages – What to Expect in the Eau Claire Area”


Myth #2: There Aren’t Advancement Opportunities

Reality: With the nationwide labor shortage around manufacturing positions, there is a very large number of positions open. But a labor shortage means that there are not only a large number of entry level positions to fill but there are also a large number of leadership positions that are regularly up for grabs.  The manufacturing industry rewards hard work and there are nearly endless opportunities for advancement for those who are willing to work hard and put in their time with a company that they want to grow with.


Myth #3: You Need a Technical Degree

Reality: Right now, there are many high paying and high quality manufacturing jobs open with no degree required.  Manufacturing employers recognize the present need to provide on-the-job training at no cost to employees. In fact, here at Drylock Technologies we provide 4 weeks of training to new employees, at FULL compensation rate. This means that we’re in a time where it’s relatively easy to enter into a new manufacturing career and climb the leadership ladder over time.


Myth #4: They Are Routine and Boring

Reality: In the past, a large number of manufacturing jobs were assembly line or manual labor positions.  In most manufacturing jobs today, a production operator is more likely to work with a robot than with a socket wrench. The manufacturing workplace is fast-paced and driven by production goals which depends on workers to be quick thinkers and effective problem solvers.


Myth #5: All Machine Operator Jobs Are the Same

Reality: Every employer uses different processes to make unique products with ever-changing technology and equipment. Machine operator jobs can have wide variations not only between companies but even between positions within the same company.  When individuals are looking for a new job, it can be equally important to find a job description that fits their interests as it is to find a job that pays what they’re expecting.

6 Mistakes That Could Kill Your Chances At a Job Offer

Have you ever left an interview knowing you made a mistake you WISH you could take back?


When you get an interview, you only get ONE chance to nail it.


Are you ready to ace it? Have no fear, we did the prep work for you.


Being prepared for your interview and knowing how to avoid pitfalls matters. Sometimes it’s the silly mistakes that leave a bad impression with recruiters but if you plan ahead, you can easily avoid them.


Here are the six most common mistakes that will kill your chances at a job offer:


…starting with the biggest, ugliest mistake you can make:


  1. Talking poorly about past employers: We see this mistake a lot. To the applicant, it seems innocent but to the recruiter, it may make you look like a chronic complainer who doesn’t take ownership of his/her issues. Your previous employer may have been frustrating to work for, but you will make yourself stand out if you show unconditional respect to that employer and withhold any negative comments.
  2. Acting like a know-it-all in the interview: Don’t mistake confidence for arrogance. If you act like you’ve done it all before and you talk in your interview about how you don’t need to be taught how to perform your work duties, you might be hurting your chances at a job offer. If a recruiter perceives you as a know-it-all, it shows that you might have a hard time taking direction and learning from your managers and your peers.
  3. Inconsistency between your application and your interview: Take time to make sure your application is correct. If you give answers in your interview that contradict your application, you’ll look like you are either not very thorough or you are being deceptive and hiding something. Double check your application and provide consistent answers.
  4. Hiding things about your background: Most companies will be doing a background check. If you hide things from your background, it will almost certainly disqualify you from a job offer. Having issues on your record won’t necessarily disqualify you from a job, but if you hide it, it signals dishonesty and turns potential employers off. When you disclose your background, it shows that you’re thorough and you’ve taken ownership for past mistakes.
  5. Not following instructions for the day of the interview: Recruiters are looking for people who are thorough and can follow instructions. When you schedule an interview, the recruiter will usually have instructions about time, location, paperwork, etc. If you don’t follow all of the instructions, you are setting a bad precedent that you won’t be able to follow instructions on the job either.
  6. Lack of follow-up: Many applicants don’t know if they should follow up after their application and interview. When in doubt, follow up. It shows that you are interested in the job and that you take the initiative to get things done. But some employers specifically request no emails or phone calls. If that is the case, then follow step #5 above and just wait patiently.


Good luck with your applications and interviews. If you need other tips and suggestions about job searching, interviewing, and wages, visit our blog for more topics for job seekers.

6 Skills That Can Get You a Manufacturing Job Anywhere

The Chippewa Valley has a strong manufacturing community.  Several world class manufacturers have their headquarters right here in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie.  There are a lot of employers hiring right now, but getting the best positions with the best employers will always be competitive.


Here are the skills you need to succeed in manufacturing.  If you develop these strengths, you’ll not only make yourself an attractive candidate for the most sought after positions, but you’ll set yourself up for advancements along the way.


  1. Dependability & Strong Work Attendance:  Never underestimate the importance of showing up to work every single day, doing the things you were asked to do, and being a positive teammate to everyone you work with.  Employers quickly filter out candidates who have jumped around from job to job to job. If you stick with a job for 1-3 years, work hard and develop strong dependability, you’ll be able to get a job anywhere you want.
  2. Problem Solving:  Manufacturing professionals are increasingly being asked to be skilled with many different machines and processes.  Set yourself apart by demonstrating your ability to learn multiple skills at the same time, follow complex instructions and troubleshoot problems in real time.  Time is money in manufacturing, so if you can showcase your ability to solve problems and keep processes moving, you will be a valuable asset to a potential employer.
  3. Teamwork: A successful business depends on people who work together positively and support each other’s roles.  Effective teams have a huge impact on a business’s bottom line and finding employees who are not only able to work in a team but also actively help build team unity are getting hired very quickly.
  4. Tech Savvy:  Some manufacturing jobs are high tech and some are low tech. The positions that are higher tech tend to pay more and be more rewarding.  If you’re good at understanding complex systems and can learn new programs quickly, make sure to speak to this skill set in interviews.
  5. Interest in Details:  In manufacturing, precision and speed matter.  Thousands of products are being produced rapidly and little mistakes can be very costly.  Paying attention to the little details can be tedious but those who have a good eye for the small things will be the most successful.
  6. Communication Skills.  Strong communication skills help in every area of life and work is no exception.  In your job interviews, give examples of when you communicated a challenge to your team or supervisor and how you talked through (and implemented) a solution.  Every job and industry has its challenges and those who can effectively communicate it and come up with a mutual solution are highly sought after.


Each of these skills will help you get the job and paycheck that you deserve. In fact, curious what manufacturers are paying in the Chippewa Valley? Head over here


Sharpen as many of these skills as you can and you will be well on your way to landing the job that fits your lifestyle and compensates you well.

7 Questions Answered About Hunting For a Manufacturing Job

It’s been a little while since you’ve been in the market for a new job or maybe it’s your first time.
There is a lot going on right now in manufacturing jobs and a lot has changed which means job seekers need to be more prepared than ever before.
We asked local HR Director, Teresa Ritzinger, to answer some of the most burning (and popular) questions about hunting for a new manufacturing job.
Here are her answers:
What changes are you seeing in manufacturing job seekers?

More and more, job seekers are looking for companies that go above and beyond to provide unconventional benefits that take even better care of their families.  They’re also looking for work life balance. Culture is king and employees want to work for a great team with a strong (and fun) culture.

Lastly with the high demand for manufacturing labor, job seekers hold a lot of power right now.  Use that to your advantage and find a manufacturing job that really meets your pay and lifestyle needs.
What benefits should a manufacturing job seeker be looking for?

(Almost) all employers say they offer competitive pay and full benefits.  A few benefits that you should look for BEYOND the standard set are on-site healthcare and paid training.  A few employers are bringing healthcare right to the job site with on-site doctor visits, physical therapy and wellness initiatives for employees.  Another benefit that can save time & money and build your career is a robust training program that allows you to progress your skills (and pay) without having to get outside schooling.
How can a job seeker find the best paying company?

Contact employers directly using facebook messages or email to ask what their starting pay is.  They’re used to responding to real world questions on the fly and can save you time before applying.  Also keep in mind the benefits they offer because a high starting wage with incomplete benefits isn’t usually going to be a good option for you in the long run. Sometimes ‘good pay’ at a warehouse or factory job actually just compensates for ‘poor benefits,’ and depending on your age and stage of life can be quite costly for you.
Are there any red flags that you see in candidates?

We look at employment history first to see if an applicant has some stability in their background so they aren’t just going to jump around.  Other red flags for Production Operators are a habit of showing up late and incomplete applications. Take your time when applying and make sure you’re reading all of the questions & instructions in order to do a  thorough job. It can really make you stand out.
What are the top 2 qualities you look for in a candidate?

Dependability & teamwork are two of our most desired qualities.  We want guys & gals who show up every day, get their work done safely and efficiently, and get along great with their coworkers.
What can new employees do to make themselves stand out for future promotions?

It is so important to start off making a great impression.  Ask questions to learn your job thoroughly and then demonstrate that you’re willing to work hard on day #1 (yes even if day one is just training).  As you gain experience, ask for opportunities to learn and you’ll be surprised at how you can set yourself up for future promotions.
What’s more important?  A strong application or a great interview?

An application gets you in the door and the interview gets you the job.  Take your time on the application and then put your best foot forward in the interview.  If you work hard on your application, you’ll have a job offer before you know it and you won’t have to fill out 10 applications just to get one job offer.

8-Hour vs. 12-Hour Shifts: The Great Debate

It’s the great debate for employers and employees…


…is it better to have an 8-hour work shift or a 12-hour work shift?


While employers choose the length of shift that is the best fit for their organization, it can also be helpful for employees and job seekers to understand the pros and cons of 8-hour and 12-hour shifts.


As an employee or job seeker pursuing a new career, which type of shift should you look for?


In this article, we will compare the benefits and drawbacks of an 8-hour shift and a 12-hour shift to help you determine which may be best for you.


12-Hour Shifts


  • Work/Life Balance


Balancing your work life and personal life is extremely important for mental health and happiness.


If you work 12-hour shifts, you have the advantage of enjoying twice as many days off each year compared to those who have 8-hour shifts. This allows for more free time to enjoy your hobbies, spend time with family, and take vacations more frequently.


If you are someone who enjoys having more time to spend with family or pursuing your hobbies like hunting, fishing, or riding ATV, the 12-hour work shift can be a great fit.


  • Less Commuting & Work Expenses


Another benefit of 12-hour shifts is a reduction in work-related expenses and commuting time.


Living far away from your workplace increases gas expenses and automobile repairs, especially if you drive to work five days a week. With a 12-hour shift, you not only save on gas money and wear and tear on your car, but you also have a bit more free time that would have otherwise been used for driving to and from work.


Other work-related expenses like daycare, babysitters, and work lunches may also cost less since you are not going to work as frequently.


  • Increased Morale & Productivity


Because you have more days off, morale and productivity tend to increase with the 12-hour workday.


According to, extra rest and recovery time allows you to return to work refreshed and be more productive.


In addition, 12-hour shifts allow more time to complete lengthy tasks, which can help you feel satisfied with the amount of work you accomplish at the end of the workday.


  • Longer Work Days


12-hour shifts that involve more physical activity may be challenging for some workers.


There can potentially be safety concerns if a worker is overly tired and working a long shift.  The end of a 12-hour shift is the time when workers are most likely to make a mistake.


In addition, those with 12-hour rotating shifts may experience more difficulty with sleep compared to the 8-hour rotating shift.


8-Hour Shifts


  • More Consistency


With an 8-hour shift, work schedules tend to be more consistent, and each workday ends earlier. This helps create a work routine that is more regular and stable.


The main drawback of an 8-hour shift is that you get fewer days off and have to come into work more often.


If you are someone that likes routine and you don’t mind going into work more often, the 8-hour shift may be a good fit.


  • Shorter Work Days


This may sound obvious, but an 8-hour shift means shorter workdays. You come into work more often, typically five days a week instead of four days. You get to enjoy more free time before and after work. This can especially be a benefit for jobs that are physically demanding or require a lot of lifting or standing.


The 8-hour shift allows more time for rest and recuperation each day and helps you avoid too many hours on your feet.


  • Work-Life Balance


Some workers feel that an 8-hour shift allows them more time for weekday activities outside of work including caring for small children, spending time with family, housework, working out, or participating in classes.


Which is Best: 12-Hour Shift vs. 8-Hour Shift


The best work shift is based on personal preferences. Both 8-hour and 12-hour work shifts have their own advantages, so it’s important to evaluate yourself to discover what you would enjoy most.


If you prefer having more days off each year to pursue your hobbies and spend more time with family and friends, a 12-hour work shift can be a great fit.


If routine and consistency are more important and you don’t mind coming into work more often, an 8-hour shift may be more your speed.


Here at Drylock Technologies, we are always looking for good people to add to our team. If you are interested in having more free time to pursue your hobbies and have more work/life balance, contact us. We offer competitive starting wages, great benefits, and great employee growth potential.

9 Questions You Should Ask In An Interview

Interviews can be stressful, especially if you’re feeling underprepared.


Being prepared can set you up for success and help you feel more confident about your interview.


Employers are looking for candidates who are well prepared, engaged during the interview, and show high levels of interest.


An interview is a two-way conversation where both parties are actively engaged and asking questions.


Not only should you be asking questions to impress the employer, but you also want to find out if this position is the right fit for you. The key is to prepare the right questions to ask that help you learn the most about the position and the company while showing that you did your research and are serious about the position.


The best questions come naturally from the conversation but preparing prompt questions to ask at the end of the interview is effective in leaving a good impression.


Here are 9 great prompt questions to keep in mind before your next interview:


  1. What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?


Employers usually cover this at the beginning of the interview but if they don’t, it’s a great way to learn more about the position and go more in-depth. 


Learning more about the day-to-day tasks gives a better understanding of what an average day in this position looks like and what skills are needed.


Also, don’t be afraid to ask them to be more specific about certain responsibilities. This is a great way to show that you were actively listening and interested to hear more.


  1. What does training look like for this position?


You can learn a lot about how the employer invests in its employees by asking this question.


When a strong training program is in place it helps you strengthen and gain new skills and knowledge. The more training you receive, the more prepared you will be to complete the day-to-day responsibilities of your job.


  1. What is the process for performance reviews?


This question gives you a chance to see how the employer invests in their employees. 


During performance reviews, managers demonstrate that they’re invested in your development by sharing feedback and helping you identify key goals to achieve in the future.


  1. What are the company’s core values and what characteristics do you look for in employees to represent that?


This question not only shows your interest in the company but also gives you a look at if your personality and skills fit with the company culture.


If the company values match your own, that’s a good indicator you’ll be highly motivated in this position. 


Also, you’ll likely find success in this role if you have many of the characteristics they’re looking for.


  1. Are there opportunities for career advancement and how does someone attain that?


By asking this question, you are demonstrating your interest in growing with the company. Be confident but avoid sounding too self-serving like asking when you can expect a raise.


This is also a good question to discover what advancement looks like within the organization and what steps need to be taken in order to obtain it. You may want to avoid working for a company that doesn’t have many career advancement opportunities.


  1. Do you offer any employee benefits and if so, what does that include?


The benefit package that employers offer should be an important factor in your decision-making process.


Employers usually provide a summary of their benefits but asking this question during an interview will give you the chance to learn in more detail.


Be wary of employers who don’t offer many employee benefits, as this may be a reflection of how they invest in their employees.


  1. What is the most important aspect of this role and how does it contribute to the goals of the company?


This question is important to ask in an interview because it provides better insight into the position and how it fits within the company. 


In-depth and engaging questions like this show the employer you’re a team player. 


Employers look for candidates that want to contribute to the success of the company and support other employees.


  1. Has the company had any layoffs?


Understanding the stability of the position and the company during the interview is important. This also gives the interviewer an opportunity to talk about the future and growth of the company.


If the employer does not sound excited about the future or tries to dodge the question, this is a red flag. Companies that are growth-oriented are excited to talk that the future and their success.


  1. What are the next steps in the interview process?


To wrap up the interview, ask about what the next steps are. Not only will it show that you are eager to move forward in the process, but it will give you a better idea of what to expect.




An interview is a two-way conversation and is not only an opportunity to impress the employer but also a chance to see if the position is a good fit for you.


Do your research and choose at least 3 of these prompt questions to ask during your next interview.


And remember, the best questions come naturally from the conversation but it’s always a good idea to have some of these questions prepared beforehand.

A Day in the Life of Josh ⁠— Machine Operator

Here at Drylock Technologies, we love watching our employees succeed in both their professional role at the company, as well as in their personal lives.


In this article, we will be highlighting a top employee who is a shining example of what can be achieved at Drylock.


Meet Josh.



Josh is currently a machine operator and has previously worked as a logistics coordinator and robot operator at Drylock. He is a hard worker and a proud husband and father.


We recently sat down with Josh to talk about what a typical day looks like for him as a machine operator, why he likes working at Drylock, and what he enjoys doing in his free time.


What do you like about Drylock?


I like the constant growth of the company and the friendly work environment.”


When it comes to working at Drylock, Josh loves a welcoming workplace and appreciates the opportunity for professional advancement. When our company grows, our workers grow.


What makes a workday feel successful?


“What makes my workday feel successful is when everyone works as a team to accomplish our goals.”


Josh, like many of our manufacturing employees, likes working with others to accomplish team goals. At Drylock, we understand that working together is more effective and fun.  


What do you like about your coworkers?


Everyone is very friendly and always willing to give a helping hand when needed.”



Creating a positive work environment is a top priority at Drylock. We understand that having a supportive team environment makes all the difference for our employees. 


What is your favorite part of the workday?


“My favorite part of the workday is when I learn new things about the machines.”


The more training our employees receive, the more successful they’ll be. Josh is always learning more about his machine operator job so he can continue to improve and help his coworkers.


How do you start your workday at Drylock?


“I start every day by crossing over with the previous shift to get an overview of how the machines ran the previous shift.”


Communication is a big part of our success here. Making sure everyone is on the same page between shift changes is important and that is the first item on Josh’s list every day.


How often do you use the cafeteria, fitness center, and wellness center?


I use the cafeteria every day and catch up with my coworkers here. I haven’t used the fitness or wellness yet, but I plan to in the near future.”


Many Drylock employees take advantage of our cafeteria, fitness center, and wellness center. Josh uses the cafeteria every day on his breaks and enjoys talking with his coworkers.


What do you do on your days off?


I spend time with my wife and 14-month old son, play online games with my friends, and work on home improvements around the house we just purchased!”


Family is a top priority in Josh’s life. His job at Drylock allows him the financial security to comfortably purchase a home and a work-life balance that allows time for family and outside interests.


What are your hobbies?


“My hobbies include playing games, watching documentaries, and staying up-to-date on political issues.”



Josh is one of the many employees here at Drylock who has found success in his manufacturing job and personal life.


He enjoys his machine operator position and appreciates the friendly and professional work environment.


The benefits and work schedule at Drylock provide Josh the opportunity to live the lifestyle he wants.


We see a lot that has happened in his life and are pleased that Drylock continues to give him opportunities to grow inside and outside of work.


If you are looking for a manufacturing job that you can grow with, has a friendly work environment, and supports the lifestyle you want to live, come work at Drylock


We’re always looking for good people like Josh to join our fast-growing team.



Free resources to support job seekers everywhere.

Finding a new job when you need it can be frustrating. Employers are hiring but it can be hard to understand and compare jobs and benefits. We created this blog to answer your questions and give you tools to land a great job... anywhere you want.

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