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What Industrial Production Managers Do About this section

Industrial production managers
Industrial production managers monitor a plant’s workers to ensure they meet safety standards.

Industrial production managers oversee the operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct activities involved in creating a range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, and paper products.

Duties

Industrial production managers typically do the following:

  • Decide how best to use a plant’s workers and equipment to meet production goals
  • Ensure that production stays on schedule and within budget
  • Communicate with sales staff, customers, and suppliers
  • Hire, train, and evaluate workers
  • Analyze production data
  • Review production reports
  • Monitor a plant’s workers and programs to ensure they meet performance and safety requirements
  • Streamline the production process
  • Assess whether production needs, such as for equipment upgrades or overtime work, are within budget 
  • Lead staff in resolving problems or improving production

Industrial production managers, also called plant managers, may oversee an entire manufacturing plant or a specific area of production.

Some industrial production managers are responsible for carrying out quality control programs to make sure the finished product meets standards for quality. Often called quality control systems managers, their work helps to identify a defect in products, identify the cause of the defect, and solve the problem that created it. For example, a manager may determine that a defect is being caused by parts from an outside supplier. The manager can then work with the supplier to improve the quality of the parts.

Industrial production managers who oversee an entire plant often work closely with managers from other departments, such as sales, warehousing, and research and design. For example, they might coordinate with a manager for the procurement (buying) department about orders for supplies that the production department needs.

Work Environment About this section

Industrial production managers
Industrial production managers work in a variety of manufacturing industries.

Industrial production managers held about 189,300 jobs in 2020. The largest employers of industrial production managers were as follows:

Fabricated metal product manufacturing 10%
Transportation equipment manufacturing 9
Chemical manufacturing 8
Machinery manufacturing 8
Food manufacturing 7

Industrial production managers spend some of their time in an office and some of it in the production area. When they are in the production area, they may need to wear protective equipment, such as a helmet, hearing protection, or safety goggles.

Work Schedules

Most industrial production managers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. They may need to be on call to deal with emergencies at any time. Some industrial production managers work night or weekend shifts.

How to Become an Industrial Production Manager About this section

Industrial production managers
Industrial production managers need leadership and interpersonal skills to supervise manufacturing employees.

Industrial production managers typically need a bachelor’s degree and several years of related work experience.

Education

Employers typically require or prefer that industrial production managers have a bachelor’s degree. However, some workers qualify for jobs if they have a high school diploma and extensive production experience.

For workers who have a degree, common majors include business and engineering. Some employers prefer to hire industrial production managers who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a graduate degree in industrial management.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Industrial production managers usually need years of work experience in supervisory or other leadership positions. Some begin as production workers and move up through the ranks.

Industrial production workers usually advance to supervisory or other leadership positions before eventually becoming industrial production managers. Some take company-sponsored management classes to increase their chances of a promotion.

Those with a college degree might begin as a supervisor or lower-level manager. Other college graduates may be hired as an industrial production manager and complete training programs. Some begin working as an industrial production manager directly after college or graduate school. They may spend their first few months in training programs, becoming familiar with the production process, company policies, and safety regulations. In large companies, they may spend short periods of time working in other departments, such as purchasing or accounting, to learn more about the company.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although they are not required to do so, industrial production managers may earn certifications to demonstrate competency in quality or management systems. The American Society of Quality (ASQ) offers credentials in quality control and various levels of Six Sigma certifications. Because these credentials often require specific work experience, they typically are not available prior to entering the occupation.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Industrial production managers handle budgets for production facilities, hire and manage staff, and coordinate work between different departments.

Interpersonal skills. Industrial production managers must have excellent communication skills to work well other managers and with staff. Some industrial production managers oversee customer relationships.

Leadership skills. To keep the production process running smoothly, industrial production managers must motivate and direct employees.

Organizational skills. Industrial production managers must keep track of many details to efficiently manage the operations of a production facility.

Problem-solving skills. Production managers must identify and address problems that arise. 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.

Pay About this section

Industrial Production Managers

Median annual wages, May 2021

Operations specialties managers

$127,140

Industrial production managers

$103,150

Total, all occupations

$45,760

 

The median annual wage for industrial production managers was $103,150 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $64,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $170,470.

In May 2021, the median annual wages for industrial production managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Chemical manufacturing $125,480
Transportation equipment manufacturing 119,400
Machinery manufacturing 101,870
Food manufacturing 98,500
Fabricated metal product manufacturing 98,490

Most industrial production managers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. They may need to be on call to deal with emergencies at any time. Some industrial production managers work night or weekend shifts.

Job Outlook About this section

Industrial Production Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2020-30

Operations specialties managers

12%

Total, all occupations

8%

Industrial production managers

5%

 

Employment of industrial production managers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.

Despite limited employment growth, about 13,900 openings for industrial production managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Most of these managers are employed in manufacturing industries, some of which are expected to have declining employment due to greater productivity. However, because industrial production managers are responsible for coordinating work activities with the goal of increasing productivity, they will continue to be needed in this capacity.

Employment projections data for industrial production managers, 2020-30
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Industrial production managers

11-3051 189,300 199,300 5 10,000 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about quality management and certification, visit

American Society for Quality                                 

For general information about manufacturing careers, visit

National Association of Manufacturers

CareerOneStop

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