Industrial Jobs on the Rise in 2021

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If you’re in the market for a new job, it makes sense to focus on options that are poised to grow in the coming years — especially given how many different occupations are declining quickly.

But there are a virtually endless number of jobs in the world. It can be challenging to zero in on the employment options that are both growing in demand and applicable to your skillset.

That’s why we’ve created the following list for people who are interested in the industrial sector. It includes 2021’s hottest industrial jobs and provides helpful tips on how to qualify for them. Keep reading to learn more.

What makes a job industrial?

Let’s start with an overview of what it means for a job to be industrial. Most of the jobs that can be described this way are focused on the production of industrial goods through the manufacturing process.

This means that an industrial worker may help with the procurement and transport of raw materials. They might also work in manufacturing plants creating goods. Other industrial employees are tasked with storing and organizing products in warehouses while another category is concerned with shipping the products to consumers.

Industrial jobs are also sometimes characterized by their emphasis on manual labor and limited educational requirements.

Note that just because many industrial jobs have limited education requirements, that doesn’t necessarily make them easy to qualify for. Many of the jobs that are filled by industrial workers are highly complex and require extensive training.

What are the different types of industrial jobs?

If you’re interested in pursuing an industrial job, you have many options to consider. Some industrial jobs provide services to consumers. For example, auto mechanics and plumbers are sometimes called industrial jobs.

Other occupations in this industry focus on the production of goods. These include job titles like mold-maker, plant operator, machine operator, and foreman.

Industrial workers are also builders. Welders, construction workers, woodworkers, and related jobs can all be called industrial.

There are simply too many industrial jobs to list all of them here. But here are a few more that are worth mentioning:

  • Arborist
  • Filling station attendant
  • Miller
  • Maintenance engineer
  • Panel beater
  • Saw-filer
  • Soaper
  • Stationary engineer
  • Wheelwright
  • Factory worker

What does it mean for a job to be “on the rise”?

When we talk about a job being “on the rise” we just mean that it’s growing. Job growth can sometimes feel like an abstract concept. But it’s actually a very straightforward one.

When employers create more of a certain type of job than they eliminate in a given amount of time, that occupation is said to be growing. This data is collected and published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on a monthly basis.

The BLS looks at jobs in the U.S. economy as a whole but also makes its data for specific occupations available to the public. Along with this, they post projections that offer fact-based predictions for how the demand for a particular job will change in the coming years.

For example, there are currently approximately 490,000 plumbers in the United States. The BLS projects that this number will increase by about 4% in the next 10 years.

The average rate of growth for a job is between 4-8%. This means that over the next 10 years, the demand for plumbers is projected to grow at an average rate as compared to the growth of all other professions.

Which industrial jobs are on the rise in 2021?

These industrial jobs are projected to grow the most in 2021 and beyond.


A wind turbine service technician is an industrial employee that works on wind turbines. It’s their job to install, maintain, and repair the turbines when something happens to them.

Becoming a wind turbine service technician usually requires studying at a technical school. But these workers also receive a lot of on-the-job training.

Wind turbine service technician is not only the fastest-growing job in the industrial sector, it’s also the fastest-growing job in the country. The BLS projects that there will be a 61% increase in the demand for wind turbine service technicians over the next 10 years.

Average Salary: $52,910/year


This is another clean energy job that’s poised to grow considerably in the coming years. A solar photovoltaic (PV) installer helps residential and business customers set up systems that convert sunlight into energy.

It’s the installer’s job to assemble the system, mount it on the customer’s roof, and then ensure that it’s working properly. Solar PV installers are also sometimes called out to do repair and maintenance work on rooftop solar panel systems.

Qualifying for the position usually requires only a high school diploma and some straightforward on-the-job training.

The BLS projects that the demand for solar PV installers will rise by 51% over the next 10 years.

Average Salary: $44,890


A derrick can be both a type of crane and the framework that sits over an oil well to hold the drilling machinery that’s tapping it. A derrick operator is someone who erects, operators, and positions the derrick. 

These workers will also spend time inspecting and maintaining the derrick to ensure that it functions properly.

Qualifying for this position usually only requires a high school education and on-the-job training. But some employers may ask for a relevant certification as well.

The demand for derrick operators is expected to increase by 31% in the next 10 years.

Average Salary: $46,990/year


A rotary drill operator is an industrial worker who handles both the operation and setting up of rotary drills. These are used to remove underground gas and oil and require specialized knowledge to operate.

You can train to become a rotary drill operator on the job or by pursuing a relevant certification. Either way, this is a worthwhile job to pursue, as the BLS projects that it will grow by 27% in the next 10 years.

Average Salary: $54,980


Roustabouts are general laborers who work on oil rigs. They’re responsible for a wide variety of tasks related to helping the oil rig operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. It’s an entry-level position that’s typically one of the first that’s available to someone who’s interested in a career in oil or gas.

The demand for roustabouts is expected to grow by approximately 25% in the next 10 years. That makes it another good career path for industrial workers who are interested in this industry.

Average Salary: $38,910

How do I qualify for one of these jobs?

The first step in pursuing one of these jobs is to understand what employers are looking for when they hire for them. This means doing some research on the position that interests you most.

You’ll find that every industrial job has its own requirements. You’ll be able to qualify for some with nothing more than a willingness to learn and some experience with machinery.

Other industrial jobs require training, which usually comes from certification programs at technical schools or colleges.

Are any industrial jobs expected to decline in 2021?

Not all industrial jobs have as rosy of a future as the ones shown in the previous section. There are some career paths that have been losing steam for a while and are projected to continue doing so in 2021.

Entry-level manufacturing jobs are one example of this. The United States is producing more manufacturing goods than ever before. But the industry has lost about 7.5 million jobs since 1980.

This is due to a few factors. First, the skills that are needed to qualify for manufacturing jobs are changing. Increasingly, corporations are looking for high-skilled workers to carry out specialized tasks instead of entry-level laborers with limited skillsets.

Other factors have contributed to this decline as well. Rising trade with foreign countries has increased competition and there are fewer individuals who are willing to move in order to take on a new job than there were previously.

Most experts are pessimistic about the possibility of these factors being resolved in 2021 and the immediate years beyond it.

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