Industrial Production Manager
What you need to know
Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.
Industrial production managers split their time between the production area and a nearby office. When they are working in the production area, they may need to wear protective equipment, such as a helmet or safety goggles.
Some of the things industrial production managers might do:
- Decide how best to use a plant’s workers and equipment to meet production goals
- Ensure that production stays on schedule and within budget
- Hire, train, and evaluate workers
- Analyze production data
- Write production reports
- Monitor a plant’s workers and programs to ensure they meet performance and safety requirements
- Streamline the production process
- Determine whether new machines are needed or whether overtime work is necessary
- Fix any production problems
* Interpersonal skills. Industrial production managers must have excellent communication skills so they can work well other managers and with staff.
* Leadership skills. To keep the production process running smoothly, industrial production managers must motivate and direct the employees they manage.
* Problem-solving skills. Production managers must identify problems immediately and solve them. For example, if a product has a defect, the manager determines whether it is a one-time problem or the result of the production process.
* Time-management skills. To meet production deadlines, managers must carefully manage their employees’ time as well as their own.
The average pay for industrial production managers in the United States ranges from $67,100 to $181,220 as of May 2020.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Employment of industrial production managers is projected to grow 1 percent from 2019 to 2029, slower than the average for all occupations.
Industries projected to add jobs for these workers include motor vehicle parts manufacturing, machine shops, and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing.
Applicants will likely face strong competition for positions, but those who have several years of experience and a bachelor’s degree in industrial management or business administration should have the best prospects.
Employers prefer that industrial production managers have at least a bachelor’s degree. While the degree may be in any field, many industrial production managers have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or industrial engineering. Sometimes, production workers with many years of experience take management classes to become production managers. At large plants, where managers have more oversight responsibilities, employers may look for managers who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a graduate degree in industrial management.
Many industrial production managers begin as production workers and move up through the ranks. They usually advance to a first-line supervisory position before eventually becoming an industrial production manager. Most earn a college degree in business management or take company-sponsored classes to increase their chances of a promotion.