Even while operating at full bore, Athena Manufacturing in North Austin is quiet and pristine, defying the traditional crash-and-bang stereotype of metal machining and fabrication.
It is what much of Austin’s manufacturing looks and sounds like today. Advanced machinery producing precision products. A computer monitor at virtually every workstation. And a workforce with an increasingly advanced set of technical skills.
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Skills in demand
A sampling of occupations that don’t require formal education beyond high school, yet posted some of the Austin metro area’s highest annual wage growth since 2005.
Occupation / Average annual wage growth (2005-2011) / Employment (2011) / Average wage (2011)
Maintenance Workers, Machinery / 13% / 400 / $56,810
Social and Human Service Assistants / 10% / 1,590 / $32,740
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors / 6% / 2,070 / $42,820
Construction and Building Inspectors / 6% / 760 / $53,380
Roustabouts (oil and gas) / 5% / 140 / $31,050
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Civic Analytics
Kate Alexander covers K-12 education issues at the Texas Legislature. Dan Zehr covers the Central Texas economy, focusing much of his coverage on the local workers and jobs.