Texas leads all U.S. states in the value of its shipments and exports. It follows only California in the number of workers employed in manufacturing. Texas is best known for its petroleum refining and chemical industries, according to the state Office of Economic Development and Tourism, but major Texas manufacturing industries make semiconductors, computer equipment, machinery, fabricated metal, motor vehicles and aerospace products.
From the Oil and Gas Industries
Petroleum refining comprises more than one-quarter of Texas's total manufacturing output. This industry accounts for the state's largest export sector, with the main goods consisting of natural gas, propane and refined oils. In addition, the petroleum industry is intertwined with the state's chemical manufacturing sector, as many base materials are derived from petroleum products.
Production in the chemical sector of Texas's economy accounts for nearly one-fifth of the state's manufacturing output and is the state's second largest export sector, behind the petroleum industry. Products and goods manufactured include petrochemicals, dyes, pigments, alcohol and industrial gases.
Electronic and Computing Products
Electronic products and components, when combined with computer products, account for Texas manufacturing's third largest output by industry sector. Texas companies in this sector produce semiconductors, capacitors, microprocessors, modems, circuit boards, electron tubes and electronic connectors. Computer manufacturers produce servers, laptops, storage devices, printers and other peripheral equipment. This does not include products classified as electronic instruments. Top goods in that category that are manufactured in Texas include avionic products, such as navigational systems and aeronautical instruments.
Based on output by sector, machinery manufacturing is fourth in Texas. Products in this category include diggers, drills, engines, tractors, transmissions, turbines and other machinery used in the agricultural, construction, industrial, mining and service industries.
The production of fabricated metals follows machinery in the level of manufacturing output by sector in Texas. Fabricated metal goods, products and commodities include aluminum plates, ammunition, boilers, copper wire, cutlery, hand tools, hardware products, kitchen utensils, plumbing fixtures, shipping containers, steel pipes, valves and machine shop products.
Manufacturers in Texas produce a wide array of other commodities, ranging from small food products to spacecraft. Aerospace products manufactured in Texas include aircraft, spacecraft and components for these vehicles. Texas also has a strong automotive manufacturing industry, ranking sixth in the nation in value of shipments from this manufacturing industry sector in 2013. Goods produced include complete vehicles -- both cars and trucks -- and auto parts, such as automotive engines, brakes and transmissions.