Industrial production managers oversee the day-to-day functions of manufacturing and similar plants. Depending on the plant’s size, managers may be responsible for the entire plant or a certain section of it. The top four manufacturing industries currently employing industrial production managers are fabricated metal, transportation equipment, chemicals and computers and electronics.
Below we’ll discuss some of the main job duties of industrial production managers as well as their potential salary, job growth data and required education and training.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial production managers can expect a 9% increase in job growth by 2020. While most managers work in manufacturing businesses, which are expected to decline slightly in coming years due to an increase in foreign competition and the continuous automation of manufacturing, managers must still coordinate the work of both workers and machines. After factoring in attrition from retiring workers and employment rates are expected to actually grow by 9%.
Industrial production managers coordinate, plan, and direct the creation of various goods such as cars, paper products, or computer equipment. Managers decide how to best use a plant’s workers and equipment to meet production goals. This involves analyzing production data each day to ensure that projects are on schedule and within budget, and writing production reports to record progress. If production is too slow, managers must create ways to increase efficiency, which may require purchasing new machinery or assigning overtime work.
Human resources-related tasks also fall under industrial production managers’ responsibilities. They are responsible for hiring, training and evaluating workers to ensure each meets performance and safety requirements. Industrial production managers often work with managers from other departments, such as buying, sales, warehousing and research and design.
Industrial production managers typically have above-average interpersonal, leadership, problem-solving and time-management skills.
The median annual wage of industrial production managers is $87,160, according to 2010 BLS data. This means that half of workers in this role earned less than $87,160 and half earned more. The lowest 10% earned less than $52,640 and the top 10% made more than $148,020.
The majority of industrial production managers have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or industrial engineering. If seeking a job at a large plant, where managers have larger oversight responsibilities, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) may be required.
To gain a competitive edge in the job search, industrial production managers should consider earning an optional credential such as a Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certificate, or a credential in quality control offered by the American Society for Quality.
Some managers start their careers by working at a manufacturing company immediately following college or graduate school. This gives them an early start in job training and learning about company policies, the production process and safety rules. Employees who start at large companies may have the opportunity to work in various departments and learn more about the business in general.