Sector Spotlight: Manufacturing
Sector Spotlight: Manufacturing

Posted on 04 February 2021

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As other sectors experience difficulty in during the pandemic, the manufacturing sector has shown surprising resilience. Recently, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing set a "very stretch target" of 50% growth in manufacturing value over the next decade (the same pace of expansion as the last 10 years). This comes hand-in-hand with a push for more locals to enter specific industries in the sector such as, electronics, precision engineering and food manufacturing (which we covered previously).

Some statistics about the growth include:

  • The Singapore Manufacturing Federation, which represents over 3,000 firms said that more local talent is needed in areas such as robotics.
  • Manufacturing now employs about 450,000 workers, or around 12% of Singapore's workforce.
  • In September, Singapore's manufacturing output rose by 24.2% compared with the same month last year - the biggest year-on-year increase since December 2011.
  • Over 100 global petroleum, petrochemical and specialty chemical companies have offices or factories in Singapore.
  • Singapore is the fourth largest global exporter of high tech products.
  • Singapore has committed to invest S$3.2 billion in R&D in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

Hiring in Manufacturing

The Straits Times reported that within the sector, electronics, precision engineering and food manufacturing had the greatest number of available openings. Of these openings, seven in 10 are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

Many companies are moving into new growth areas, especially in the marine and offshore sub-sector. In this sub-sector, hiring continued among those in marine activities such as ship repair, conversion, and refurbishment.

In general, new job roles such as automation and data analytics, to support business transformation efforts, are in demand.

What jobs are available in Manufacturing?

Singapore's manufacturing sector includes key clusters such as electronics, chemicals, biomedical sciences, marine, logistics and transport engineering.

Jobs include:

Electronics Engineer
  • Degree in Engineering
  • 0-2 years experience
  • $4,300 - $6,000/month
  • An electronics engineer may be employed in a variety of roles depending on the sub-sector. These include maintenance, auditing, installation, verification and review of existing systems, or proposing and setting up new ones.
Mechanical Engineer
  • Degree in Mechanical Engineering or related discipline
  • 0-2 years experience
  • $3,750 to $6,500/month
  • Mechanical engineers apply the principles of engineering to the design, analysis, manufacturing and maintenance of machines. This is a position with a wide variety of opportunity available in many sectors. Mechanical engineers are employed in design, research and auditing of mechanical equipment and systems.
Engineering Technician
  • No qualification or experience needed
  • $2,300 - $3,900/month
  • Technicians are involved in assembly, configuration and troubleshooting duties. Though a junior position, precise knowledge of the systems and operations of engineering is required for this job.

What qualifications are needed for a career in this sector?

For engineering positions such as Mechanical Engineer or Electronics Engineer, a degree in Engineering was the minimum requirement. PMET positions also sometimes asked for field experience or sector-specific experience related to the job role.

However, companies were open to training for junior positions such as technician or welder. In these cases, they did not require any experience or qualification. Some companies did specify that they would be willing to provide training as well.

What career opportunities are there in the sector?

The manufacturing sector may be difficult to enter, especially at the PMET level, as it requires precise qualifications. But there is assurance that they would be well-rewarded, as they can look forward to taking on higher-value job roles created. These include automation engineers to integrate automated technologies and robotic systems in ships and rigs, and data scientists to analyse and improve ship, rig, marine equipment design.

Those with project management and quality assurance skills would also find them transferable to the manufacturing sector, which has a high demand for such skills. Also, though the sector requires highly skilled manpower, those looking for a mid-career switch can tap on extensive training programmes and grants available to ease their transition.

Apply for a career in manufacturing now!

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