The aluminum industry in the US is a thriving one, providing over 600,000 jobs and contributing immensely to the economy. Pursuing a career in this field is a great choice because of the opportunities and diversity of the industry. However, you need to understand how the industry works and its requirements to land a great job.
The best-paying job in the aluminum industry is an executive or supervisory role. This position usually requires years of experience, but you may earn more than $150,000 yearly. Other well-paying jobs in the industry include machine operators and administrative roles.
This article describes the best-paying jobs in the aluminum industry, highlighting their requirements and overall job description, giving you a better understanding of whether you’ll be a good fit for a career in this industry.
1. Production Supervisor
- Average Salary: $66,421 per year.
- Workload: 93% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 2,263 production supervisor jobs are available on
A production supervisor is in charge of overseeing all steps involved in the production of any aluminum product. These products will vary depending on the company. To fill this type of role, you need enough experience in different positions in aluminum production. You’ll need to have a full understanding of each role so that you can effectively manage your team.
Production supervisor job descriptions may require you to fill the following aspects of the role:
- Choose the required labor and hire only the best.
- Determine the required equipment to make the company’s product.
- Ability to use administrative procedures to manage production processes.
- Ability to use different aluminum equipment correctly and teach the skills to other employees.
- Understand the technical terms and reasoning behind every production process.
Most of the time, the production supervisor will work closely with the engineering department to create a design framework for products. This process will mitigate the risk of mistakes in the manufacturing process.
- At least a high school diploma.
- You will need relevant, diverse experience of about ten years.
2. Sales Expert
- Average Salary: $53,000 per year.
- Workload: 92% of positions are full-time.
- High Demand: 100,626 sales jobs are available on
The aluminum manufacturing industry requires a lot of technical experience. But like any other industry, sales and profit are crucial to the business’s continuity. Most owners and directors usually have the technical expertise and background, leaving an excellent opportunity for a sales or marketing specialist.
The sales specialist is responsible for helping the people with the technical knowledge create something that will sell quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the duties of the sales expert:
- Sell and market engineered aluminum products such as aluminum bars, aluminum rods, aluminum wires, aluminum powders, and aluminum foils.
- Study and understand market trends to help position the company properly.
- Understand customer needs and convince the technical director to make products according to those needs.
- Help the administrative team to curate great customer relationships with potential clients. Sometimes, you may oversee all administrative actions from the administrative unit.
- Develop strategies to generate leads for the company.
- Set up meetings with potential leads to understand their aluminum manufacturing needs.
- Create digital marketing strategies to interact with potential clients.
Depending on the company’s arrangement, the sales expert would typically work with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). However, many companies hire a sales expert to fill the CMO role. This arrangement gives you more right to bargain your remuneration, but it makes the job more complex, and you may work directly with the CEO.
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree is necessary for this role. The ideal background would be experience in engineering and marketing.
- You need at least eight years of experience in the manufacturing industry’s marketing arm.
- Any marketing diplomas and certifications will be an added advantage.
3. Quality Assurance Supervisor
- Average Salary: 84,234 per year.
- Workload: 93% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 222 quality supervisor jobs are available on
In the aluminum industry, manufacturing products of outstanding quality is essential. Maintaining great product quality is the job of the quality assurance supervisor. Apart from product quality, the quality assurance supervisor gets involved with overall production processes. This involves ensuring all procedures follow due guidelines from planning to execution.
Some of the duties of a quality assurance manager include:
- Depending on the company’s arrangement, you must create quality assurance guidelines for all processes or review their existing ones.
- Hire and supervise qualified inspectors to ensure workers follow the quality guidelines at all points.
- Report and evaluate workers’ adherence to the quality assurance guidelines.
- Get customer feedback on the quality and improve processes where necessary.
In most companies, the quality assurance manager reports directly to the owner or director of the company.
- A high school diploma is usually the least accepted degree.
- Quality assurance certifications are always an advantage.
- Experience in the aluminum or manufacturing industry. The years of experience required will depend on the job complexity and company rules.
4. Maintenance Specialist
- Salary: $29 per hour.
- Workload: 93% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 298 maintenance specialist jobs are available on
Working in the aluminum industry requires the operation of different machines. From time to time, these machines may be damaged and require repair. Routine maintenance is also essential. It is the job of the maintenance specialist to plan and execute the maintenance of most of the machines.
You may not necessarily be the person opening and fixing these machines, but it is always better to have the experience. Some of the duties of the maintenance specialist include:
- Recording the inventory of the company’s machines.
- Plan routine maintenance of the company tools.
- Highlighting guidelines for the optimal use of machines.
- Receiving daily reports of the machine inventory to predict the best times to fix it.
- You need to have the skills to fix most machines based on experience and expertise.
- Discovering, hiring, and training maintenance personnel to help with maintenance.
- Procure, purchase, and install machines for the company.
- Check every machine for authenticity, warranty, and safety features.
Typically, the maintenance specialist should work directly with the quality assurance expert, as having the best tools give the best quality. But in some organizations, you must work closely with the directors and production supervisor to make the right decisions.
- A higher national diploma.
- Certifications in quality assurance and maintenance can be an added advantage.
- Experience working in diverse sections of the aluminum industry is necessary. Experience of at least seven years is a good start.
- Salary: $27 per hour.
- Workload: 90% of positions are full-time.
- High Demand: 36,591 welder jobs are available on
Manufacturing any products with aluminum will require you to join different parts to form the product’s shape perfectly. This position may seem the most stressful in the aluminum industry because it may involve lots of physical work.
However, welders get paid well in the aluminum industry and thus may need more experience than a professional degree.
Some of the requirements of a welder include the following:
- Understanding how to convert designs and sketches with aluminum through cutting and joining.
- Experience using welding tools and other multipurpose tools.
- Experience following quality assurance guidelines.
- Understand how to do welding jobs quickly and efficiently while minimizing waste.
- You need to work safely for yourself and your coworkers.
- Maintain all tools optimally and report to authorities when there is a damaged tool.
The welder is one position in the aluminum industry that has multiple superiors. It is a versatile part of the industry that can work in different departments, depending on the product. However, you’ll typically report to a production manager or supervisor.
- A diploma is enough for the position of a welder.
- The ability to understand and draw sketches is an added advantage.
- Minimal experience of three years on most jobs. If the job is more complex, you will need more experience.
6. Forklift Operator
- Salary: $20 per hour.
- Workload: 89% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 1,130 forklift operator jobs are available on
Logistics is vital for manufacturing. This is why forklift operators are highly sought after in aluminum factories. As a forklift operator, you will contribute to loading, and unloading raw materials and aluminum casts around the factory.
- A fork-lifting certificate.
- Excellent hand-eye coordination.
- Good physical condition.