What is the future of the job market for the Industrial, Automotive, Robotics and Semiconductor industry and what are some of the hottest jobs in 2023?

Social changes such as Covid-19 and the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are having a significant impact on the manufacturing industry in Japan.

In this article, we interviewed Cody Draper, Manager of the Manufacturing Division at Progressive Recruitment, about hiring trends in the industry and his recommendations for future career opportunities within industrial and automotive engineering.


Background of Cody Draper

Cody grew up in the United States and joined the army in college, serving in the Military Intelligence department. He also started his own business while in the service and subsequently joined Verizon Communications as a sales and marketing manager, where he helped to grow market share in the south-eastern region of the United States.

He then moved to Japan in 2014 and was involved in recruiting and managing top brands worldwide. Currently at Progressive Recruitment, he is responsible for the manufacturing sector, and oversees the Automation, Robotics, IoT, and Industrial 4.0 recruitment divisions.


What are the hiring trends within the industrial, automotive, robotics, and semiconductor sectors?

Cody shared, “We expect to see strong hiring in all areas of manufacturing in 2023 and beyond, especially in automotive, robotics, and semiconductor jobs in Japan. We are seeing a lot of activity in the semiconductors industry, and this is an area where we expect to see even more hiring activity. This is in light of the shortage of talent that has been a concern for the past few years and the Japanese government's aggressive support of the industry.”

“But we are also seeing a lot of interest coming up within smart manufacturing with the digitisation of all manufacturing processes, across all aspects of the business. With the help of Web 4.0, this is an area that is expected to grow significantly in 2023 and would also start to see increased adoption in many areas related to smart manufacturing, from supply chain management to servitisation.”


What jobs within industrial, automotive, robotics and semiconductor will be in demand in 2023?

“Within the industrial and engineering field, the need for mechanical and electrical engineers will continue to grow. In the commercial sector, we see more companies actively recruiting for sales management jobs."

According to the "Survey of Corporate Perceptions of Wage Trends in 2022" conducted by Teikoku Databank Corporation, labour shortages are evident in more than 94% of large and small companies. Of these companies, 32% responded that "businesses are also being affected" and these businesses included information services, construction, and automotive industries. In these industries, there is active hiring of electrical engineers and mechanical engineers and this is only expected to accelerate after 2023.


Is the future of manufacturing stable?

With the introduction of AI in recent years, we often hear people say, "I am worried about the future of the manufacturing industry.” Cody added, “However, production and manufacturing technologies, which require experience and skill that cannot be quantified numerically, as well as design and development engineering technologies for automobiles and machinery, are areas in which AI cannot replace. As such, there will always be a demand for these services and knowledge even in the future.”

“The future of electronic components and semiconductor industries, which play a fundamental role in IT, is particularly promising. Like other areas of the manufacturing industry, these sectors have been experiencing a serious shortage of labour and successors in recent years.”


Is it possible to change jobs within industrial and automotive engineering with no experience?

“In the manufacturing industry, it is actually possible to change jobs with no experience, but there will be a prerequisite that you have acquired some experience necessary for the job. In addition, if you are changing jobs in Japan, it is essential that you possess Japanese language skills. As such, if you have Japanese language skills, and may be a new graduate who studied computer science in college, you will be able to at least secure a junior-level engineering position.”

“However, there are some differences in the skills required for engineering jobs in the manufacturing industry compared to other IT jobs. For example, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers tend to be hired for their interpersonal skills.”


What is the average annual salary for each job in Japan?

The following is the average annual salary for electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and sales jobs, which are expected to be in high demand from 2023. The figures may vary depending on the company and position, so please use this information as a reference only.

  1. Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering jobs
  • With experience: ¥8,000,000 - ¥12,000,000
  • No experience: ¥5,000,000 - ¥6,000,000


  1. Sales jobs
  • With Experience: ¥8,000,000 - ¥10,000,000
  • No experience: ¥5,000,000 - ¥6,000,000


  1. Engineering Manager or Sales Manager
  • ¥12,000,000 - ¥15,000,000


  1. Engineer Country Manager to Director
  • ¥18,000,000 - ¥20,000,000

In our long history of providing support for job changes within the industrial and automotive sectors, we have seen many job seekers successfully increase their annual salary by approximately 10-15% when working with us. In many cases, the remuneration packages (eg. incentive system, etc.) in the manufacturing industry is different from that in the IT industry. If you have any concerns about your job change, job search or negotiating an offer, we recommend that you first consult with a recruitment agency who can assist you with all of the above and provide you with free consulting services.


Industrial, Automotive, Robotics, and Semiconductor is a very attractive industry that is sustainable and always in demand

“The manufacturing sector is a very low-profile, behind-the-scenes industry, but it is a vital part of our lives, and the need for it never stops. This makes any job in it a very attractive career path. Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) such as connected robotics, 3D printing, cloud computing, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling smart manufacturing to progress at an even faster pace and will make the manufacturing industry even more interesting to work in.”

Progressive Recruitment offers a wide range of exciting opportunities at companies that are leading the transformation of the global manufacturing industry. To learn more about our team's extensive industry experience and knowledge, or to find out more about Progressive Recruitment, please click here. You may also look at some of our job openings by clicking the button below. If you would like to engage in a free consulting job change service, please kindly fill up the form below and a dedicated consultant will be in touch.

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