What is Manufacturing?

What is Mfg

If you are wondering what manufacturing is, you are not alone! It is one of the most frequent questions we get at GCAMP, the Greater Chicago Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. Simply put, manufacturing is making things.

In fact, almost everything we use on a daily basis, from our technology to our clothing, was manufactured. Even most of the food we eat and the beverages we drink were manufactured. Manufacturing is a global industry, and, as long as we need stuff, we will need manufacturers.

What is Advanced Manufacturing?

Maybe now you are wondering, what is advanced manufacturing?  Unlike traditional manufacturing methods, advanced manufacturing uses state-of-the-art technology, like computers and robots, to make things even faster, cheaper, smaller, and with more precision than ever before. 

Imagine the size of parts needed to fit in a hearing aid. Think about the precision required to build a space shuttle. Consider how expensive your cell phone would be if the manufacturer could only make one per day. Advanced technology makes all of these things possible.

Top 5 Reasons to Go Into Manufacturing

  1. High Demand - Over the next decade, 4 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2.1 million are expected to go unfilled. 1

  2. High Pay - In 2022, manufacturing workers in Illinois earned $97,323 on average, including pay and benefits. 2

  3. Opportunities to Grow Your Career – Many management-level employees start off sweeping the floors!  Whether you are a high school graduate, a skilled worker with certifications or an Associates Degree, or a college grad with a four-year degree, there are opportunities for you to begin your career and work your way up the ladder. 

  4. Advanced Training Without the Debt – It is common for manufacturing employers to offer paid apprenticeships and tuition reimbursement to those who are interested in advancing their skills.   You can have school, even college, without the loans!

  5. Hands-On Creative Work That Makes a Difference – With a career in manufacturing, you can use your hands and your mind to solve problems and make the world a better place!


  1. Facts About Manufacturing. National Association of Manufacturers. Retrieved from https://www.nam.org/facts-about-manufacturing/.
  2. 2022 Illinois Manufacturing Facts.  National Association of Manufacturers.  Retrieved from https://www.nam.org/state-manufacturing-data/2022-illinois-manufacturing-facts/.