Machine Operator Industry Trends for 2021

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Since its earliest days, the industrial sector has been all about growth. Companies in this sector often embrace new technologies and techniques to get an edge on the competition, expand their operations, and become more efficient.

And when a new trend starts to emerge in the industrial space, it’s often the first adopters who enjoy the bulk of the rewards once that trend becomes mainstream.

That’s why we’ve put together the following article highlighting some of the most important trends in the machine operator industry so you can prepare yourself for a future in which these ideas become mainstream.

The importance of machine operator trends

Economic spheres like the industrial sector don’t tend to remain static for long.

Instead, they’re constantly shifting, morphing, and turning into something slightly different than what they were before.

These movements are expressed through industry trends. Therefore, having a good awareness of the trends in your industry can give you an excellent idea of what it’s going to look like in the future. This can set you up to use that information to position yourself to excel in the industry in the future.


When an industry trend goes mainstream, that typically happens because it offers some benefit that helps a company improve its profitability. For example, many trends in the industrial sector focus on efficiency. 

It’s often the case that a new technology, technique, or tool comes out and gets mass-adopted for the impact it has on a company’s efficiency levels. And as more companies adopt the new standard, others become forced to if they want to keep up and remain competitive.

This is something to keep in mind while reviewing the machine operator industry trends for 2021 we cover in the next section. Just remember that companies care about these trends because it helps them be more efficient, which helps them become more profitable.

Top industry trends for machine operators to pay attention to


Automation is something that’s been impacting the industrial sector for a while, but it’s starting to become easier for companies to access thanks to a general reduction in the cost of the technology. 

Over time, this may lead to automation becoming more widespread since companies that use it tend to save money by doing so.

The good news for machine operators is that this trend shouldn’t impact their employment opportunities as much as it may impact hiring demand for other positions. 

But the machine operators of the future may end up working more with automated systems and less with humans than they do now. That means it could be a good idea for a current machine operator to start learning how to interact with the most popular types of automation technology in their industry.

For example, if you’re a machine operator in the construction industry, consider which types of automation are becoming more popular on job sites. Then, take some time to think about how you interact with them and see if there’s anything you could do to make those interactions more efficient. Doing so now will help keep you ready for the future.


The Internet of Things is a term used to describe the newfound interconnectivity of things that were previously unconnected. For example, various types of machines, appliances, and tools now have integrated sensors and the ability to collect and share information.

This matters because it lets companies track data and perform analytics that weren’t previously possible. They can now gain deeper insights into the nature of their operations and use the newfound information to improve their processes wherever it’s needed.

Machine operators may want to be aware of this because much of the gear they work with in the future could be part of the IoT. That means employers will be using it to collect, track, and analyze data to improve their operations.

Machine operators who understand this should be able to help their employers leverage their IoT devices to get as much out of them as possible. And if a machine operator can do that, then there’s a good chance that their employer will value them highly.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is another trend that is likely to impact the machine operator industry in the years to come. More specifically, companies in this sphere are starting to use AI to perform machine learning analysis. They do this because machine learning can offer a company new insights into its operations, which can help it improve them.

AI and machine learning have the potential to change the way that industrial companies handle inventory management, transportation, supply chain management, and more.

This is why it’s a smart move for machine operators to familiarize themselves with AI and machine learning now. Those who do so may be better able to adapt and thrive in the future when their employers make interacting with these technologies a bigger part of their job duties.


Predictive maintenance is a trend that could impact how machine operators are asked to maintain the machines they work with. The trend involves using IoT devices, AI, and machine learning to determine when a machine needs maintenance. This can often be done before the machine shows any signs of needing support.

Companies value predictive maintenance because it helps them get more out of the machines they’ve invested in. That’s because if a business can fix a maintenance issue before it even shows up, then it’s optimized how it cares for the machine and the machine should last longer as a result.

Machine operators are often asked to perform various maintenance tasks on the machines they work with. Given this, it’s likely that they will interact with predictive maintenance in the future–especially as the trend becomes more mainstream. 

Machine operators who take the time to learn how to perform predictive maintenance now may have an easier adjustment when this becomes a more significant part of their job.


Over the next 10 years, Deloitte predicts that there will be roughly 2.3 million manufacturing positions that don’t get filled. That number indicates that, even though things like AI and IoT are coming to disrupt the industrial sector, there are still plenty of opportunities to be found within it.

It also means that machine operators who are looking for a niche to specialize in may want to choose the manufacturing industry, as there may be lots of job opportunities for machine operators to choose from in manufacturing.

How changing trends impact economies 

Economies are living, breathing things. They’re constantly in flux because they’re so large, complicated, and full of many different pieces. But they don’t change randomly. Instead, it’s typically trends that dictate how tomorrow’s economy will differ from today’s.

That means if you want to know what the economy will look like in the future, it often makes sense to analyze the new trends that are emerging in the current economy. This can be helpful for both companies and employees.

For example, a company that’s looking for an edge might embrace a new technological trend emerging in its industry. By embracing that technology early, the company may get the opportunity to optimize how it uses it faster than its peers. This can help them take a leading position in the economy of tomorrow.

The way that trends interact with economies also impacts employees, by shaping the types of positions that companies are hiring for.

For example, when the internet revolutionized how companies sold products, it opened up tens of thousands of new employment opportunities for programmers, web designers, and other professionals that helped companies sell their products online.

Machine operators may want to keep this idea in mind while they prepare themselves for the future. If you notice a strong trend emerging, it could be a smart move to embrace it early to get a leg up on the competition when new jobs start popping up around it.

Find your next machine operator job with the Rock the Trades App

If you’re interested in getting a new job as a machine operator, then understanding and embracing the trends covered in this article can help you become a more attractive candidate for employment. But you’ll still need to use the right platform during your job hunt to make sure you find the best employment opportunities in your area.

That’s why you should seriously consider checking out the Rock the Trades app. With our app, you just answer a few questions about your background and what you’re looking for. Then we automatically connect you with employers who are hiring candidates just like you in your area.

We add over 50,000 industrial jobs to the app every month. So why wait? Take the first step towards your next position as a machine operator by downloading the RTT app today.

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