9 most in-demand IT jobs in manufacturing – CIO

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The manufacturing industry is experiencing its “fourth industrial revolution,” with manufacturers focused on leveraging IT to stay competitive and meet the demand for digital services that can enhance their physical wares. Sensors, AI, and robotics are key Manufacturing 4.0 technologies that fueled data strategies aimed at identifying inefficiencies, streamlining processes, and improving the ability to forecast and predict industry trends.
Because of this, IT professionals are in high demand in the manufacturing industry — even more so as supply chain issues persist and manufacturers consider bringing more of their operations back onshore. Demand has increased so much that IT job postings in manufacturing doubled between May 2021 and 2022, according to Dice.com, with increased demand for skills such as agile development, Python, software development, automation, C++, SQL, and Java, among others.
If you’re an IT pro looking to break into the manufacturing industry, or a manufacturing IT leader wanting to know where hiring will be the most competitive, here are nine of the most in-demand tech jobs in manufacturing, according to data from Dice.
The demand for software in manufacturing has only increased, as nearly every piece of equipment or hardware is now connected to the internet in some form — and this has also increased the demand for software engineers. In this role, you’ll be expected to design, code, debug, improve, and maintain software to support the organization. You may be put to work on automation, modernization, equipment installation, equipment support, or designing software to meet business needs. Software design and implementation can sometimes take years, depending on what’s being developed, so it’s a pivotal role for ensuring a company stays on track and on budget with digital transformation.
The average salary for a financial software engineer is $119,593 per year, with a reported salary range of $88,000 to $177,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
Principal software engineers are typically responsible for managing large-scale, high-level projects that may require larger teams or longer lead times, and it’s one of the highest levels software engineers can reach. In this role, you’ll need to manage and oversee the technical aspects of the organization’s biggest projects and initiatives. Duties vary depending on the type of manufacturing, but these tech pros are often tasked with implementing plans developed by software architects and managing a team of engineers to code and script software. It’s a technical role that also requires a level of soft skills such as leadership, communication, and analytical skills.
The average salary for a principal software engineer is $169,453 per year, with a reported salary range of $128,000 to $235,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
Systems engineers are responsible for focusing solely on the systems and infrastructure in an organization and identifying areas for improvement, designing new solutions, and advising the company on the best hardware or software to meet a client’s requirements. You’ll be tasked with ensuring that the systems in an organization are always available, reliable, and well-maintained, as well as troubleshooting any problems or issues that arise. In manufacturing, systems engineers are typically expected to focus on process flows, identifying issues in development processes, developing management control systems, implement quality control procedures, and working directly with clients to better understand requirements and needs.
The average salary for a systems engineer is $110,245 per year, with a reported salary range of $82,000 to $158,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
Principal systems engineer is a high-level engineering role for designing and implementing complex computer systems across a variety of teams. These tech pros work closely with software developers, hardware engineers, and other tech professionals to ensure that the company’s products are up to industry standards and address customer needs. It’s the highest level for a systems engineer and you’ll typically act as a supervisor, overseeing the day-to-day operations and performance of servers, storage, and network infrastructures. You’ll also be responsible for managing building, patching, testing, and deployment of systems and platforms, ensuring that they meet clients’ needs
The average salary for a principal systems engineer is $169,453 per year, with a reported salary range of $128,000 to $235,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
Embedded software engineers are responsible for designing and developing software for embedded devices and systems. They are typically expected to work on systems and software designed for specific tasks. Depending on the role, you may also be expected to work on the entire system that the embedded software functions within, in order to test it to see whether it works properly. But overall, it’s a role that requires a very narrow focus and designing software solutions to meet unique or specific needs in the organization.
The average salary for an embedded software engineer is $114,884 per year, with a reported salary range of $88,000 to $166,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
Data scientists are critical in manufacturing because they help businesses collect, manage, and store relevant data for customers, clients, products, and services. It’s a role that helps manufacturing companies identify areas for process improvements, potential risks, and waste that can be eliminated in various processes. Job listings typically ask for skills such as machine learning, AI, SQL, Python, AWS, and the ability to work with relational databases, analyze and model engineering data, and identify emerging technologies that will help the company meet its goals.
The average salary for a data scientist is $122,004 per year, with a reported salary range of $90,000 to $176,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
As the manufacturing industry increasingly relies on technology and software, there’s a big demand for software developers. Software developers are expected to recommend software programs to help address manufacturing needs, run software tests on internal computer programs, modify open-source code to suit business needs, or design and develop custom software for the organization. In manufacturing, software developers are tasked with working on software for internal and external clients to manage projects, suppliers, supply chains, data analysis, and smart technologies for products.  
The average salary for a software developer is $111,729 per year, with a reported salary range of $78,000 to $181,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
In the manufacturing industry, business analysts are responsible for using data and analytics to help the business make decisions and to support digital transformation. Business analysts are expected to perform requirement analysis, document processes and communicate analysis insights to various departments and leadership. As a business analyst, you’ll also be expected to recommend new or emerging technology and processes to improve automation, and to stay on top of the latest process and IT advancements to automate and modernize systems.
The average salary for a business analyst is $97,744 per year, with a reported salary range of $70,000 to $155,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
DevSecOps is the intersection of development, security, and operations — it’s an expansion on DevOps, with an added priority on security. DevSecOps engineers are responsible for monitoring processes, conducting risk analysis, automating security control, managing incidents and security protocol, maintaining internal and external systems, and implementing safety practices within the organization. It’s a role that requires strong communication, leadership, and administrative skills as well as hard skills such as Python, Java, C++, Ruby, DAST, SAST, and modeling tools such as Rhapsody and SysML.
The average salary for a DevSecOps engineer is $120,117 per year, with a reported salary range of $89,000 to $169,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.
Sarah White is a senior writer for CIO.com, covering IT careers, hiring & staffing, and diversity.
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