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Matthew Hubacher

Buffalo Niagara’s general economic resurgence has been positively impacted by the diversification of industries in our economy, however advanced manufacturing remains our third largest industry sector with 66,000 employees.

In fact, our manufacturing sector is trending above the U.S. average.

From January through November 2018, the Institute of Supply Management reported Buffalo’s PMI Index was consistently higher than the national PMI, averaging 72.4 – more than ten points above the national average. With our long history as a manufacturing hub and our recent growth, it’s not surprising that there are many great manufacturing jobs available in our community.

Moreover, the types of jobs being advertised are changing. Instead of traditional manufacturing positions employers are hiring for roles like Machinist and Programmer, which usually offer higher wages and better advancement opportunities.

Though companies report having a more difficult time finding new employees to fill job openings, opportunities are created for both new job seekers and current employees through advancement. Employers have shared that they are more willing to promote from within and train individuals now more than in the past. Employees are in a better position to learn new skills from their existing companies and build their resumes for future growth.

As companies hire from within and upskill current employees, opportunities and jobs open in entry and mid-level positions for those seeking work.

“We’ve got people that are willing to embrace our culture and one of those core values is all about flexibility and adaptability,” said Tapecon President Steve Davis on a recent tour of his printing and medical device facility. “We’ve got people embracing the challenge to learn something new and we’re able to scale up.”

Below are job titles with the most current job postings in manufacturing. Also included are information on earnings, required education, and job duties for each position.

Maintenance and Repair Workers:

Number of jobs in WNY: 8,156 
Current job postings: 543 (October 2018)
Projected job growth/decline: 3% jobs growth over 5 years
Average hourly earnings: $17.82-$18.45/hr
Typical job qualifications: HS diploma and moderate on-the-job training.
Job description:

  • Repairs, installs, and maintains machinery, equipment, physical structures, and pipe and electrical systems in commercial or industrial establishments.
  • Follows specifications, blueprints, manuals, and schematic drawings, using hand tools, power tools, hoist, crane, and measuring and testing instruments.

Industrial Engineers:

Number of jobs in WNY: 1,988
Current job postings: 409 (October 2018)
Projected job growth/decline: 4% jobs growth over 5 years
Average hourly earnings: $38.77-$39.61/hr
Typical job qualifications: bachelor’s degree
Job description:

  • Determines the most effective means for an organization to use capital, equipment, energy, facilities, information, material, people, and other assets to make a product or service.
  • Plans utilization of facilities, equipment, materials, and personnel to improve efficiency of operations.
  • Studies product or service and its requirements, using mathematical methods such as operations research, to meet those requirements and design manufacturing and information systems.
  • Designs management control systems to aid in financial planning and cost analysis.
  • Reviews functional statements, organization charts, and project information to determine functions and responsibilities of workers and work units and to identify areas of duplication.

Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers:

Number of jobs in WNY: 3,861
Current job postings: 369 (October 2018)
Projected job growth/decline: 1% decline over 5 years
Average hourly earnings: $29.47-$30.67/hour
Typical job qualifications: 3-5 years experience and a HS diploma.
Job description:

  • Supervises and coordinates activities of workers engaged in processing and/or the development of a product or a service.
  • Trains new workers in operation of equipment.
  • Maintains inventory records and requisitions ingredients/supplies as necessary to meet delivery schedules.
  • Evaluates materials and products to maintain organization standards.

Freight, Stock and Material Movers:

Number of jobs in WNY: 9,766
Current job postings: 296 (October 2018)
Projected job growth/decline: 1% growth over 5 years
Average hourly earnings: $13.43-$14.70/hr
Typical job qualifications: HS diploma and short-term on-the-job training.
Job description:

  • Loads, unloads, and moves materials within or near plant, yard, or work site.
  • Reads work order or follows verbal instructions to ascertain materials or containers to be moved.

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers:

Number of jobs in WNY: 3,170
Current job postings: 172 (October 2018)
Projected job growth/decline: 6% decline over 5 years
Average hourly earnings: $18.03-$19.26/hr
Typical job qualifications: HS diploma and moderate on-the-job training.
Job description:

  • Prepares specifications for fabrication, assembly, and installation of apparatus and control instrumentation used to test products.
  • Weighs out specified quantities of materials for use in production processes, using balance, platform, or floor scales.


Number of jobs in WNY: 2,912
Current job postings: 131 (October 2018)
Projected job growth/decline: 1% decline over 5 years
Average hourly earnings: $20.82-$20.92/hr
Typical job qualifications: HS diploma and long-term on-the-job training.
Job description:

  • Fabricates metallic and nonmetallic parts, and fits and assembles machined parts into complete units, applying knowledge of machine shop theory and procedures, shop mathematics, machinability of materials, and layout techniques, operating conventional, special-purpose, and numerical control (NC) machines and machining centers.
  • Checks blueprints, sketches, drawings, manuals, specifications, or sample part to determine dimensions and tolerances of finished work piece, sequence of operations, and setup requirements.
  • Measures, marks, and scribes dimensions and reference points on material or work piece as guides for subsequent machining.

This blog was originally published on Hiring 716, through WKBW.

For more information on manufacturing in Western New York:

Download Advanced Manufacturing Guide

About Us

Founded in 1999, Invest Buffalo Niagara represents the eight counties of Western New York. We are the region’s nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization focused on job creation. 

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