Students who have an interest in helping companies oversee and refine their manufacturing processes may want to consider a career as an industrial production manager. Manufacturing plants and other industrial operations need professionals with the expert knowledge and skills required to help them meet production goals efficiently and safely. The industry seeks industrial production managers with advanced degrees in management and leadership to oversee and run production plants or specific areas of production.
What do industrial production managers do? An industrial production manager job description can offer some insight. Industrial managers take on many responsibilities, including enforcing safety procedures, reviewing production costs, and approving requests for new vehicles and machinery. These tasks call for strong leadership skills and an ability to deploy innovative management strategies.
Work Settings for Industrial Production Managers
The responsibilities of industrial production managers have them splitting their time between offices and nearby production areas. While in production areas, they often need to wear protective gear such as goggles or a helmet. Many industries employ industrial production managers, including:
- Chemical manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing
- Fabricated metal product manufacturing
- Machinery manufacturing
- Food manufacturing
- Transportation equipment manufacturing
Industrial Production Manager Job Responsibilities
Whether working in a facility that produces aluminum parts or the latest vaccine, industrial production managers facilitate all the activities that go into manufacturing goods. They plan and direct the daily operations of industrial production plants.
Job responsibilities of industrial production managers include:
- Analyzing production data
- Writing reports
- Hiring and training workers
- Developing ways to make production processes more efficient
- Determining whether overtime work is needed
- Determining whether an organization needs to upgrade or purchase new equipment
- Ensuring production deadlines are met on time and on budget
- Ensuring safety guidelines are followed
- Identifying and fixing production problems
An industrial production manager job description can also outline quality control duties. These duties aim to ensure finished products meet certain standards and levels of quality. Quality control programs involve identifying defects, uncovering their causes, and then resolving the issues. Quality management standards, such as ISO 9000 or Six Sigma, can help in this process, as they allow industrial production managers to determine if a defect is the result of an internal problem or caused by faulty parts provided by outside suppliers.
Additionally, industrial production managers may collaborate with supervisors from other departments. For example, they may need to communicate with the department responsible for buying supplies to avoid slowdowns in production. Or they may need to coordinate with warehousing, sales, research, and design departments to better streamline operations.
Fundamental Skills for Industrial Production Managers
Industrial production managers must possess fundamental skills to successfully run production facilities. Students aspiring to enter the field can work to cultivate the following competencies:
- Interpersonal skills: Industrial production managers supervise many employees, as well as plan and cooperate with other managers throughout their companies. Building good working relationships requires the ability to actively listen, negotiate, and get along with others.
- Leadership skills: Making key decisions about production issues and managing people necessitates decisive leadership. Industrial production managers should be able to effectively influence others and foster a team-based environment.
- Project management skills: Production requires careful planning and supervision of daily operations. As such, industrial production managers need to conceptualize projects from start to finish. This requires the ability to map out timelines, monitor budgets, troubleshoot, and deliver an end product.
- Analytical skills: Running a production facility successfully depends on the ability to analyze production data, identify areas of inefficiency, and determine how to improve operations. Industrial production managers use their analytical skills to make good hiring decisions, budget appropriately, and solve problems.
- Written and verbal communication skills: After analyzing production data and determining the best ways to apply it, industrial production managers need to communicate their findings effectively to more senior leaders and those under their charge. They also need strong written and verbal communication skills to write reports and direct the daily operations of their facilities.
Salary Range for Industrial Production Managers
Industrial production managers can earn competitive salaries. As of May 2019, they earned an annual median income of $105,480, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10% of earners brought in more than $176,070 per year, while those in the bottom 10% earned around $65,050. Industrial production managers with higher salaries tend to have additional on-the-job experience and advanced degrees.
Explore a Career as an Industrial Production Manager
Intrigued by the industrial production manager job description and the accompanying earning potential? Explore how Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership gives graduates a competitive edge in industrial production careers.
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Career Explorer, “What Does an Industrial Production Manager Do?”
Houston Chronicle, “What Is Involved With Being a Plant Manager?”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industrial Production Managers