How to start a career in manufacturing

At the shop I looked around and noticed, it’s always 68-72 degrees in there, I’m out of the elements of weather, I have a wide flexible schedule when I could work since I was in sports in high school, and I can work a 40 hour week with optional overtime. As of right now I am in the process of being a state apprentice and for the past 3 months I have been working under tool and die makers to learn the trade and help them make die components for their tools.
— Zach D, Machining Youth Apprentice Graduate

High School Programs in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program

Manufacturing Youth Apprenticeship Brochure

Ozaukee Youth Apprenticeship

National Robotics League

Online Training in Manufacturing

NTMA-U Training for shop math, CNC, and blueprint reading

Technical Colleges in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Technical College System

Manufacturing Groups to Join in Wisconsin

Society of Manufacturing Engineers - Chapter 2 - Southeastern Wisconsin


  • Mathematical Skills - Ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and compute basic trigonometry functions while choosing the right methods to solve the problem

  • Reasoning Ability - Ability to use common sense understanding and solve problems

  • Oral Comprehension - Ability to listen and understand information spoken

  • Computer Literacy - Ability to use a computer and work with Microsoft Office programs

  • Mechanical / Technical Skills - Must operate lathes, mills, grinders and other computer controlled machines