Industries & Professions /
Plastics Products Manufacturing Workers
Increased competition in foreign markets will reduce opportunities for plastics products manufacturing workers. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) predicts that employment for plastic machine workers will decline through 2022. Opportunities for computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic will be much better, growing faster than the average for all careers through 2022. The DOL reports that "many firms are adopting new technologies, such as computer numerically-controlled (CNC) machine tools and robots, to improve quality and lower production costs. The switch to CNC machinery requires computer programmers instead of machine setters, operators, and tenders. Therefore, demand for lower skilled manual machine tool operator and tender jobs are more likely to be reduced by these new technologies, because CNC machinery does the work more effectively."