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Industrial Production Manager

Job Outlook: 1% (Little or no change)

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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 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.

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
  • 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

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

Industrial production managers are responsible for carrying out quality control programs to make sure the finished product meets a specific level of quality. Often called quality control systems managers, these managers use programs to help identify defects in products, identify the cause of the defect, and solve the problem creating 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 work closely with managers from other departments as well. For example, the procurement (buying) department orders the supplies that the production department uses. A breakdown in communication between these two departments can cause production slowdowns. Industrial production managers also communicate with other managers and departments, such as sales, warehousing, finance, and research and design.

Work Environment About this section

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

Industrial production managers held about 190,100 jobs in 2019. 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 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.

Work Schedules

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

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 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.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

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.

Alternatively, a worker who joins a firm immediately after graduating from college may work as first-line supervisor before beginning a job as a production manager.

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, many also spend short periods of time working in other departments, such as purchasing or accounting, to learn more about the company.

Important Qualities

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.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

While not required, industrial production managers can earn certifications that show a higher level of competency in quality or management systems. The APICS offers a Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) credential. The American Society of Quality (ASQ) offers credentials in quality control. Both certifications require specific amounts of work experience before applying for the credential, so they are generally not earned before entering the occupation.

Pay About this section

Industrial Production Managers

Median annual wages, May 2019

Operations specialties managers

$120,960

Industrial production managers

$105,480

Total, all occupations

$39,810

 

The median annual wage for industrial production managers was $105,480 in May 2019. 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 $65,050, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $176,070.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for industrial production managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Chemical manufacturing $116,110
Transportation equipment manufacturing 111,270
Machinery manufacturing 105,010
Food manufacturing 98,420
Fabricated metal product manufacturing 97,330

Most industrial production managers work full time and some work more than 40 hours per week.

Job Outlook About this section

Industrial Production Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Operations specialties managers

9%

Total, all occupations

4%

Industrial production managers

1%

 

Employment of industrial production managers is projected to grow 1 percent from 2019 to 2029, slower than the average for all occupations.

Most of these managers are employed in various 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. Industries projected to add jobs for these workers include motor vehicle parts manufacturing, machine shops, and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing.

Job Prospects

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.

Employment projections data for industrial production managers, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Industrial production managers

11-3051 190,100 191,900 1 1,700 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about careers in production management and certification, visit

Association for Operations Management (APICS)

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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