Relocation Guide: The Top 10 Cities in the U.S. For Manufacturing Jobs

Serious busy young black factory engineer in hardhat and safety goggles examining milling lathe and repairing it while working at production plant

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing has very literally transformed the landscape of the United States. Even if the manufacturing industry has advanced over the past two centuries thanks to machinery and technology, many tasks would still be impossible to complete today without a highly skilled staff.

Where are manufacturing jobs still in high demand for American workers in the age of automation?

There are four important variables for determining the best manufacturing cities in the US. These include the total manufacturing employment per 100,000 of population, year-over-year increase, the median income for the manufacturing industry, and median housing cost. These variables have been used in a study that examines cities throughout the US in order to find out which are the most productive. 

Total Manufacturing Employment

The total number of manufacturing employment in each city in relation to the whole population of the metro area is perhaps the most significant aspect taken into account when ranking cities. Wisconsin’s Green Bay, with more than 10,000 manufacturing employment per 100,000 residents, has the highest concentration. However, despite the fact that Green Bay has plenty of manufacturing jobs available, this analysis finally came to the conclusion that Wichita, Kansas is the greatest American city to work in manufacturing.

In Wichita, there are 54,200 employees in the manufacturing industry. Furthermore, this industry employs a sizable portion of the entire workforce in the metro region. Beyond that, Wichita saw a growth of 4.8% in a recent year. Furthermore, the median annual wage of a worker is over $50,000. The investigation showed that Wichita has the seventh-lowest monthly median housing costs among the cities examined so compensation increases by proportion even further.

Industrial Expansion

The study was able to examine the recent rate of employment growth in the manufacturing sector in each city. Following Clarksville, Tennessee, which saw employment increase by 10.7% over the previous year, Reno, Nevada, had manufacturing employment increase by 9.9%.

The expansion of these skilled labor positions indicates a metro area’s increasing stability and strength. However, in addition to the quantity and ongoing growth of open opportunities, the median pay for these skilled jobs is another sign of how strong the manufacturing sector is in a given city.


The average annual wage for employees in the manufacturing sector, according to recent research, was $54,420 (or $27.21 per hour). This analysis showed that for the top 100 locations evaluated, the median annual pay varies significantly between around $26,000 to $76,000. Even though the average yearly salary in Seattle is $67,833, the cost of living there is significantly higher than in many other smaller US metro areas. This, of course, leaves less money available for saving and spending.

Cost of Living

Looking at the average monthly cost of housing in each community we see whether a factory worker’s income would make it affordable. The city with the cheapest manufacturing jobs is Battle Creek, Michigan. Comparing this to San Jose, California, where the median housing cost is $3,500 per month, Battle Creek’s median housing cost is only $694 per month. The huge diversity of living costs in these 236 locations makes it obvious that the pay disparity is less pronounced when fixed living costs are taken into account.

The study was able to compile a thorough analysis of life for manufacturing workers across the nation and where their hard-earned money goes. They were able to do this by taking into account all four elements. 

Here are the top ten best cities for manufacturing workers to make a living:

  • Wichita, Kansas, 
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana, 
  • Battle Creek, Michigan, 
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, 
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Reading, Pennsylvania, 
  • Portland, Oregon, 
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Janesville, Wisconsin 

The manufacturing industry is hospitable and expanding in these locations. Furthermore, the median income and cost of living are lower than they are nationwide, allowing workers to save and spend more.

It is evident that the US manufacturing industry is still strong in many localities around the nation in the age of automation and outsourcing. TruPath is one company that knows that the skilled workers necessary to manage and operate these types of machinery and facilities are in just as much demand as ever. This is true despite the fact that it is always changing and evolving due to the rapid pace of technology.