Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing includes innovative manufacturers who develop and utilize advanced materials in their products. The development and use of advanced materials means manufacturers will create more competitive, innovative products marketable globally. Oregon's advanced manufacturers are particularly competitive in the development and use of advanced metals. The metals industry has a long history in Oregon, and it continues to drive innovation of advanced materials in the state.

Advanced manufacturers increasingly turn to exports for growth. Advanced Manufacturing exports from Oregon have doubled in the past ten years. Export growth is not limited to one sector of Advanced Manufacturing either, Upstream Metals and Machinery, Aerospace and Defense, and Biomedical have all experienced tremendous export growth.

Emerging sectors within Advanced Manufacturing include Aerospace and Defense, and Biomedical. Both industries are growing jobs, increasing their market shares nationally, and have tripled exports over the past ten years.

Upstream Metals & Machinery

Oregon has long been an innovator in metals manufacturing. Upstream Metals includes manufacturers of pipes, castings, plates, coils, and metal smelting and refining that are then used in a subsequent end-user product. Oregon is known for its advanced metals manufacturers, including those that work with titanium, like ATI Specialty Alloys & Components in Albany and Precision Castparts in Portland. Titanium is an important, highly-valued metal used in aerospace and biomedical products. Machinery manufacturers in Oregon specialize in the production of equipment used for heavy lift, material moving, pumping, metalworking, logging, and construction. Oregon machinery manufacturers are very export-oriented, shipping their advanced equipment all over the world.

Aerospace & Defense

Oregon's fastest growing Advanced Manufacturing sector is Aerospace and Defense, with 51% employment growth over the past 10 years. Oregon's Aerospace and Defense industry may not be as large and established as some other states', but it is clearly an expanding manufacturing sector in Oregon based on its outstanding employment growth, competitive market share gain, and industry innovation over the past 10 years.

The Aerospace and Defense industry is present throughout Oregon. Boeing has a sizable presence in Portland, Erickson Air-Crane is in Southern Oregon, and Central Oregon is home to several small manufacturers. About a quarter of employment in aerospace and defense is in search, detection, and navigation instruments, which includes companies like FLIR Systems and Garmin.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is another emerging sector of Aerospace and Defense in Oregon. Companies like Northwest UAV in McMinnville (the largest manufacturer of UAV propulsion systems in the U.S.), and Insitu in Hood River and Bingen (WA), make Oregon well-positioned to grow its UAV industry. Oregon also boasts three FAA approved UAV test ranges in Pendleton, Tillamook, and Warm Springs that offer a diverse array of testing conditions.


Biomedical is an emerging Advanced Manufacturing industry in Oregon because of its employment and export growth, as well as it growing competitive market share in the U.S. Two sectors form the core of Biomedical in Oregon—medical equipment manufacturing and scientific research and development. Together, these account for about three quarters of employment in the industry.

Biomedical manufacturers are becoming increasingly reliant on exports for growth. Both medical equipment and pharmaceutical manufacturing tripled their exports between 2005 and 2015.

Service providers in Biomedical have found Oregon to be fertile ground for their research, with a talented and innovative workforce. The industry is supported by the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI), a Business Oregon-supported Signature Research Center tasked with translating scientific research developed in Oregon's laboratories into commercial ventures.

Industry Snapshot

Advanced Manufacturing Upstream Metals
& Machinery
& Defense
Biomedical Total
Estabishments (2016) 381  56  823  1,260 
Employment (2016) 16,702 4,251 10,335  31,288
Average Wage (2016) $63,776 $88,885 $68,312  $68,686
Exports (2016) $1,260,623,490  $445,277,258  $736,413,702  $2,442,314,450 
Rural Location Quotient 0.45 0.02  0.23  0.32

Location Quotient is a ratio that shows an area's distribution of employment by industry compared to a reference or base area's distribution. The base area used in the Target Industry Group analysis was the U.S., except for rural Oregon location quotients, which used Oregon as the base area. A location quotient of 1.0 means the comparison area has the same distribution of industry employment as the base area. A location quotient greater than 1.0 means the comparison area has a larger concentration of industry employment than the base area.

Source: Business Oregon with data from 1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, 2) U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, 2012 Economic Census, and Annual Survey of Manufacturers, 3) Oregon Employment Department Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, and 4) Oregon Department of Forestry, log prices and Oregon timber harvest data, and 5) D&B Hoovers.