The workforce throughout Mexico is diverse, ranging from production labor (direct labor) to highly skilled professionals (indirect labor). This lends itself well to a variety of companies manufacturing in Mexico. Also, the maquiladora’s 60+ year history of manufacturing in Mexico has resulted in a well-trained labor force, which includes a multigenerational pool of manufacturing talent throughout the country and in almost every industry.
Direct Labor in Mexico
Unskilled direct labor in Mexico is typically defined as those employees who do not have a high level of education and/or do not require much training to successfully complete their daily tasks. Generally speaking, these employees have no more than a high school education and are not bilingual.
Semi-skilled direct labor in Mexico differs from unskilled, in that the employee typically has a minimum of 2-3 years of experience in a specific type of work. Another scenario may be an employee who lacks experience, but possesses natural skill sets that enable this Mexican worker to be trained for a higher level of work than simple tasks. Sometimes, this level of employee will be fully or partially bilingual, as well. Because semi-skilled employees in Mexico are typically paid about 20-30% more than unskilled, their level of turnover is generally lower.
Skilled direct labor for manufacturing in Mexico is becoming much more common due to the sophistication of the products being manufactured. Skilled direct labor can be found in many of the maquiladoras in Mexico , especially those servicing the aerospace, medical device and metal mechanic industries. Generally speaking, skilled labor has at least 5 years of experience in a specialized line of work. Some examples might be a welder for engineered metal products, a cleanroom CNC operator, or even a specialty leather-sewing operator. It is not uncommon for a skilled laborer in Mexico to make double the salary of his or her unskilled counterpart.
Indirect Labor in Mexico
Facility management, including plant managers, operations managers, production managers and QC managers make up a large portion of the indirect labor force in Mexico. These highly skilled and well-experienced individuals are increasingly sought after in the Mexican labor force.
Demand for engineers in Mexico, including manufacturing, electrical, process and mechanical, is rapidly growing. The aerospace, medical device, electronics, automotive, consumer product and metal mechanics industries are increasingly expanding the scope of their Mexico manufacturing operations, thus requiring a larger pool of engineers to run their facilities. In fact, Mexico graduated more engineers in 2021 than did the United States.
Supervisors make up the remainder of indirect labor required in virtually every manufacturing facility in Mexico. Unlike managers in Mexico, supervisors typically receive salaries below that of their U.S. counterparts, depending on their experience and seniority. For more information on Mexico labor rates and other services in Mexico, get in touch with us.