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The Top Industrial Jobs from a Staffing Firm

Whether you are a recent college grad ready for your first job or a mid-career worker considering a career change, you might be overwhelmed at how difficult it is to get your resume noticed by industrial companies hiring for your targeted profession. If you’re applying with little or no experience too, it might seem impossibly difficult to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other applicants.

In any case, job seekers should consider using a staffing agency, also known as an employment agency, to find a job. A common misconception says staffing agencies only fill low-paying, entry-level industrial positions. Nothing could be further from the truth, as staffing agencies source candidates for a wide variety of jobs across the industrial spectrum. Staffing agencies place candidates in positions from entry-level laborers and mechanics to mid-level management positions to highly-trained professional machinists and welders.

Requirements for Industrial Job Levels

Every job level has specific requirements regarding education, professional degrees, skill sets, and past work experience. For most jobs, employees can be promoted to a higher job level after working for a mandatory length of time. Most often, employers will take into account overall performance, attitude, reliability, adaptability and qualifications attained over time. Both training and continued education may be required for promotion to higher job levels.

Entry Level

An entry-level position is often the starting point for many industrial careers. These are typically jobs for a new program or certificate grads or for those switching professions. Often, no experience is required, but in larger industrial companies work experience may be required in a related position or field. Most positions provide on the job training. Some examples of entry-level positions include warehouse workers, forklift operators, and assembly line workers.

Mid Level with Some Experience

Typically, mid-level positions require industry-related, on-the-job experience. They require specific skills and sometimes a degree or necessary certification. Mid-level positions require employees to work with some degree of autonomy with good problem-solving skills and the ability to take on responsibility. Some examples of mid-level titles include quality control inspectors or industrial mechanics.

Highly Trained Professionals

These careers typically come after many years served within one particular industry. These positions typically require skill levels attained over many years and not possessed by entry or mid-level applicants. These positions almost always require specific degrees or certifications. These are the highest-paying jobs in the industry, requiring a great deal of experience, skills and relevant qualifications. Examples of highly trained professionals are specialized in industrial electronic mechanics and engineers.

Entry-Level Positions

Contrary to expectation, there are some great entry-level industrial positions available. The best positions give you a platform from which to grow, allowing you to gain skills and knowledge over time. When searching, take into account factors like base pay, education provided or skills acquired, and whether there’s room for advancement. Let’s look at a few top entry-level positions available today.

Demolition Labor

Demolition laborers work in both the industrial and construction sectors, demolishing old structures to make space for new and improved structures. Demolition laborers often work with heavy machinery, explosives, and other demolition equipment in addition to hand-labor. These positions require strong physical stamina, the ability to follow supervisory instructions and good coordination.  No formal education is required for entry-level demolition labor, which makes this a great position for those seeking to make money without obtaining extensive certifications. Most demolition labor positions start between $8-11 per hour and go as high as $15/hour with experience.

Industrial Maintenance

Industrial maintenance workers are responsible for the basic repair and maintenance of machinery. Most work focuses on preventative measures and involves cleaning and lubricating equipment, adjusting and calibrating machinery, and performing basic diagnostic tests to detect problems. Entry-level positions typically require only a high-school diploma. On the job training is the typical method for gaining experience. Workers may be placed on electrical construction sites, satellite facilities, and power manufacturing plants, so attention to detail and safety is paramount.


Warehouse positions may include hand-laborers or material movers, pickers, packers, and forklift operators. In small warehouses, workers perform a variety of tasks, while in larger warehouses, workers may perform one task repeatedly. Salaries can start at $24,000 annually for hand-laborers, but the ability to move up to foreman or management positions is great with salaries offering upwards of $60,000 annually for these positions. Most entry-level positions require no secondary education, although a driver’s license may be required or training for forklift operation.

Asphalt Worker

An asphalt worker is a laborer who handles the materials used to pave roads, highways and parking lots. The asphalt crews you may see while driving through a construction zone are the backbone of America’s expansive infrastructure. Some tasks of an asphalt worker include maintaining traffic and safety protocols, spreading and compacting hot asphalt, repairing potholes and cracked roads, and operating large machinery and equipment. To be an asphalt worker you must have good teamwork and communication skills, the ability to closely follow instructions and abide by safety protocols, and physical stamina and strength, for it is common for these types of workers to work in all weather conditions. This entry-level position typically requires a high school diploma or GED in order to qualify.


Shipping and receiving workers typically work in large warehouse operations with various shipping departments. Companies rely on these workers to facilitate deliveries both to customers and company vendors. Primary responsibilities include making pickups and deliveries, maintaining an inventory of goods, using operating packaging tools, and operating hand or lift hoists. Work is usually physically demanding and requires good communication skills. Most positions are full time with shifts varying, as most large companies operate 24-hour shipping services. Most positions average take-home pay of $14.44 per hour.

Mid-Level Positions with Some Experience

Mid-level positions are often a great promotion point for entry-level employees who have shown a dedication to their position and an ability to handle extended responsibility. Sometimes, these positions may be available to candidates who have just a few years of experience under their belt. Mid-level positions take on greater levels of responsibility than entry-level positions and may require the supervision of other employees. Mid-level employees are often the coordinating position between upper-level management and entry-level staff.

Industrial Millwrights

Industrial millwrights fall under the category of industrial maintenance workers, who maintain and repair machinery. However, millwrights are typically required to have completed a two-year associate’s degree program in pneumatics, hydraulics, welding or other industrial maintenance courses. On the job training is often provided for candidates who apply with these academic qualifications to gain further experience. Millwrights will work to clean, adjust, calibrate and test operational equipment, as well as perform necessary repairs based on diagnostic tests. The average salary for those positions is $53,980 with regular workday hours and shifts.

Pipe Welders

Due to the dynamic nature of the welding industry, there is a lot of room for upward movement. Welders are in high demand within the industrial sector. Many entry-level welders can gain valuable experience within a few years, and as experience grows, so does salary. Riskier welding environments yield the highest salaries—in most cases, between $50,000 and $185,000 annually. Many times, to increase to mid-level positions in the welding industry, like pipe welders, you will need to obtain related certifications. The booming growth within this industry is promising for welders.

Quality Control Inspector

Quality control inspectors work within a variety of environments, from inspection forums in small production enterprises to assembly lines in large factories. They are responsible for accurately performing and documenting quality inspections, whether of elements of a whole or of a final product. They must be able to use precision instruments and gages, read blueprints, and submit inspection reports. Minimum education is required, whereas the relevant experience of 3-5 years hold much greater value in terms of eligibility. Pay depends on location, experience and the size of your employer.

CDL Operators

CDL operators are long-haul or heavy trailer truck drivers. A certification with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators is required, which varies by state and depends on the class of vehicle driven, cargo, etc. CDL operators will typically have a Class A or B license. They will need to have superb navigational skills, acute attention to safety details, and a willingness to work long hours. CDL operators’ salaries depend on experience, industry, and state, but most are paid as a share of revenue, so there is no limit to how much one can earn. Average salaries for CDL operators is $64,000 per year in transportation and courier industries.

Highly Trained Positions with Extensive Experience

Highly experienced positions are open to candidates with extensive experience within a particular industry. These professionals often work in a management position, directing people, departments, functions, and projects. Upper management positions require strong problem-solving skills, as they work to implement the direction and focus of a company. Most positions would require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree (based on industry) and at least five to seven years of related experience. For all positions, pay grades vary depending on experience, industry, and location, but will always be a considerable step above pay grades for entry-level or mid-level positions due to experience requirements and responsibility level.

Industrial Machinery Mechanics

Industrial machinery mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing factory equipment and other industrial machinery. They perform some of the most important jobs within an industrial setting, keeping equipment functioning at optimal efficiency and with minimal breakdowns. Most specialize in either electrical or mechanical maintenance with at least a technical degree and a number of years of related experience. Responsibilities may include overseeing both the function of equipment and employees under your position who also work in equipment repair roles. Top positions, especially those in the electrical power generation sector, can make an average of $70,600 annually.

Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers are found within a variety of sectors, but within the industrial sector, they are typically responsible for planning the layouts of factories and designing assembly lines and other manufacturing protocols. They will work to eliminate waste, time, energy, money and other resources within a manufacturing or production system. A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum educational requirement with 4+ years of experience. The average salary for industrial engineers in the U.S. is $79,592 and upwards of $115,253 annually.

Plant Manager

Plant managers are responsible for overseeing and organizing the daily operations of manufacturing plants or other similar facilities. They oversee employees, production and efficiency standards, as well as make sure the plant is running smoothly and safely. They make sure all workers under their charge follow safety protocols and procedures. They are ultimately responsible for the production efficiency and output of a manufacturing plant. Typical positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in industrial management or a related field, as well as a minimum of five years of related experience. Most plant managers see an average annual salary of $155,779.

How a Staffing Firm Can Help

Whether you are just graduating from a degree program or looking to change careers, you will be one of the hundreds of applicants in the hunt for a job. Getting yourself noticed can be extremely difficult, even if you have top-notch qualifications. Using a staffing agency can make all the difference. They are connected with all of the top industrial employers in your area and have their finger on the pulse of each particular industrial sector’s needs and qualifications. A staffing agency can connect you with the perfect position in a great company. Many times, they have access to job openings that are not made publicly available.

Certified Source

Certified Source is one of the premier staffing agencies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, employing the most trusted and experienced staffing professionals in the industry. Our organization is dedicated to quality service. We focus on local markets and connecting employees to employers with custom-tailored staffing solutions. Whether you are looking for your first entry-level position in a new industry or have years of experience and are ready for a position with more responsibility, contact us today at Certified Source. We are here to connect you with that perfect job! Call us today!

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