what is a production manager?

When you see mass-manufactured products at the store, you can thank the production manager. They keep the operation running so that businesses can complete projects and ship their products on time. As a production manager, you'll meet with employees to assign duties, review their performances and deal with issues that arise.

If machinery breaks down, you'll figure out how to repair or replace it, keeping production on schedule. You'll also ensure a safe working space and eliminate safety hazards. Similarly, production managers figure out new ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs without sacrificing quality. You could potentially save your employer tens of thousands of dollars.

Production managers ensure that the result adheres to your employer's specifications. Every employer has a specific design and roadmap that makes their products stand out from the competition. It's your job to help them succeed.

You'll be a liaison between employees and management, reporting your progress and discussing challenges. Management may turn to you first when an issue arises. Production managers also set goals and review the schedule, adding coverage when necessary.

Would working as a production management suit your organization skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a production management role.

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average production management salary

Would you like to know what a production management earns? Where the highest salaries are paid for a production management? Then check out this production manager salary page and find out all about the salary of a production management in the USA.

production manager
production manager

types of production manager

Production managers often work in specific fields that require unique skills, knowledge and job experience. For example, biofuels production managers work at power generation centers, dealing with biodiesel, ethanol and other fuel sources. You'll check the meters and gauges and take fuel samples for quality control.

Other specific fields include production plant managers and industrial production managers. Choose job-specific majors when you attend school, such as forest biomaterials or chemical engineering, to get a head start.


working as a production manager

Production managers are one of the most valuable people in the facility. You'll help your employer maintain their upward trajectory and gain an advantage in their field. Learn what you can expect from this position.


production manager skills and education

Some employers only require a high school diploma if you have business experience. However, most employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree. Production managers have serious responsibilities that require at least a few years of training.

Many companies look for applicants with a relevant major, such as business administration or operations research. Getting your master's degree in a related field may provide high-paying job opportunities. However, some employers ultimately prefer experience because you can start immediately without training.

Production management isn't necessarily an entry-level job. You might start in lower management or even find a job on the factory floor. If you find a production management position shortly after college, your employer provides training on safety, communication, production and company policies. Still, they expect you to arrive with a preexisting knowledge base--after all, that's why you attended school.

Afterward, you can continue your education with software and management certifications. Your employer may refresh your knowledge throughout your career with new training programs. Make sure that you stay up-to-date on new company policies so that you can enforce them in the workplace.

Production managers are organized, detail-oriented people. You always know what's going on and regularly visit the production floor. You handle your responsibilities but ask for help when you need it so that production doesn't stall. Colleagues count on you to respond to their texts, emails and phone calls in a timely manner.

Other essential skills include:

  • performing math calculations
  • understanding company policies
  • writing with correct spelling and grammar
  • learning and using management software
  • finding the root of problems
  • staying calm in stressful situations
  • delegating responsibilities to workers

Factory work can be repetitive and stressful. You can't change the work itself, but you can motivate employees by showing your appreciation. Congratulate your workers when they operate efficiently and complete projects on time or ahead of schedule.

woman carrying box
woman carrying box

FAQs about working as a production manager

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about production managers.

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