Industrial production managers typically work in manufacturing plants, where they supervise and coordinate production of products and goods ranging from consumer electronics to vehicles. They manage workers to ensure they meet performance and safety goals.
In addition, industrial production managers may handle budgets, analyze data, and monitor equipment usage and maintenance. They focus on quality control procedures and may incorporate methodologies such as Six Sigma to boost efficiency.
Their duties and responsibilities require regular contact with colleagues in other departments and with partners along the supply chain.
Generally, a core set of skills is required to be an effective industrial production manager. Those include time management, problem solving, interpersonal communication and leadership.
Job Outlook and Salary Range for Industrial Production Managers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of industrial production managers is expected to decrease by 4% nationally between 2014 and 2024. Job prospects should be stronger for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in an applicable field.
In May 2016, the median annual salary for industrial production managers was $97,140, with the top 10% earning more than $165,450, the BLS reported.
Employment opportunities and salary can vary depending on location, experience, education and other factors.
Education and Training for Industrial Production Managers
There are several possible pathways to a career as an industrial production manager. In some cases, employees with extensive experience in manufacturing may be able to move into supervisory roles, perhaps by completing management training courses.
According to the BLS, most firms prefer candidates who have several years of experience plus a bachelor’s degree in business administration or industrial engineering. Some employers, particularly large operations, may require industrial production managers to have advanced educational qualifications, such as a Master of Business Administration degree.
After joining a company, industrial production managers may receive in-house training relating to specific processes, policies and regulations. In larger firms, managers may also rotate through other departments in order to develop a broad background in overall operations before they begin working in production.
Voluntary certification programs allow industrial production managers to increase their expertise and demonstrate their professional knowledge. The Association for Operations Management and ASQ are among the industry organizations that offer certification programs.
Military Occupational Specializations
For servicemembers preparing to return to civilian life, it can be beneficial to explore careers that require skills and knowledge similar to those of their particular military occupational specialization.
Military roles related to engineering, operations and maintenance may relate well to the civilian profession of industrial production manager. In the Air Force, for example, such military job titles include maintenance management production specialist and operations management specialist.