Industrial Production Managers

Summary

industrial production managers image
Industrial production managers develop the manufacturing plan and establish procedures for manufacturing plants.
Quick Facts: Industrial Production Managers
2012 Median Pay $89,190 per year
$42.88 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 5 years or more
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 172,700
Job Outlook, 2012-22 -2% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2012-22 -4,100

What Industrial Production Managers Do

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.

Work Environment

Industrial production managers held about 172,700 jobs in 2012. Most industrial production managers work full time and almost half worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

How to Become an Industrial Production Manager

Industrial production managers typically need a bachelor’s degree and 1 to 5 years of related work experience.

Pay

The median annual wage for industrial production managers was $89,190 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of industrial production managers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Most of these managers are employed in various manufacturing industries, and will experience growth or decline along with the industries in which they are employed.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of industrial production managers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about industrial production managers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Industrial Production Managers Do

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 to ensure they meet performance and safety requirements
  • Create ways to make the production process more efficient
  • Determine whether new machines are needed or whether overtime work is necessary
  • Fix any production problems

Depending on the size of the manufacturing plant, industrial production managers (also referred to as plant managers) may oversee the entire 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, and research and design.

Work Environment

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

Industrial production managers held about 172,700 jobs in 2012. About 75 percent of industrial production managers work in various manufacturing industries.

The manufacturing industries that employed the most industrial production managers in 2012 were as follows:

Fabricated metal product manufacturing10%
Transportation equipment manufacturing9
Chemical manufacturing7
Machinery manufacturing7
Food manufacturing7

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 almost half worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012. 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

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 1 to 5 years of related work experience.

Education

Employers prefer 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 and become a production manager. 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 being selected for management. Most earn a college degree in business management or take company-sponsored classes to increase their chances of a promotion.

Production managers who join a firm immediately after graduating from college sometimes work as first-line supervisors before beginning their jobs as production managers.

Some managers begin working at a company directly after college or graduate school. They 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 must have excellent communication skills so they can work with managers from other departments, as well as with the company’s senior-level management.

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 be able to identify problems immediately and solve them. For example, if a product has a defect, the manager determines whether it is a onetime 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 Association for Operations Management offers a Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) credential. The American Society for Quality 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

Industrial Production Managers

Median annual wages, May 2012

Management occupations

$93,910

Industrial production managers

$89,190

Total, all occupations

$34,750

 

The median annual wage for industrial production managers was $89,190 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in the occupation earned more than the amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,250, and the top 10 percent earned more than $150,020.

In May 2012, the median annual wages for industrial production managers in the top five manufacturing industries where these managers worked were as follows:

Chemical manufacturing$99,250
Transportation equipment manufacturing       91,870
Machinery manufacturing       87,270
Fabricated metal product manufacturing       82,730
Food manufacturing       80,430

Most industrial production managers work full time and almost half worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

Job Outlook

Industrial Production Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Total, all occupations

11%

Management occupations

7%

Industrial production managers

-2%

 

Employment of industrial production managers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Most of these managers are employed in various manufacturing industries, which are expected to see a decrease in overall employment as a result of increased productivity. In the past, employment of industrial production managers was less affected by productivity gains, since these managers were responsible for coordinating work activities with the goal of increased productivity. However, as facilities adapt to this new, leaner production model, employment of workers and managers should be equally affected by productivity increases.

Some manufacturing jobs are at risk of being sent to other countries with lower wages, dampening some employment growth. However, this risk may be reduced by recent trends of “reshoring”, where previously outsourced personnel and services are being brought back to the United States, and “domestic sourcing” where firms move jobs to lower cost regions of the United States instead of to other countries.

Job Prospects

Applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in industrial management or business administration should have the best prospects.

Employment projections data for Industrial Production Managers, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Industrial production managers

11-3051 172,700 168,600 -2 -4,100 [XLS]

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of industrial production managers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2012 MEDIAN PAY
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in a product or service. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Bachelor’s degree $115,750
Construction managers

Construction Managers

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from development to completion.

Bachelor’s degree $82,790
Health and safety engineers

Health and Safety Engineers

Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to prevent people from getting sick or injured and to keep property from being damaged. They combine knowledge of systems engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other consumer products will not cause harm to people or buildings.

Bachelor’s degree $76,830
Industrial engineers

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient ways to use workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Bachelor’s degree $78,860
Management analysts

Management Analysts

Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization's efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

Bachelor’s degree $78,600
Mechanical engineers

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Bachelor’s degree $80,580
Operations research analysts

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions.

Bachelor’s degree $72,100
Sales managers

Sales Managers

Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.

Bachelor’s degree $105,260
Top executives

Top Executives

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Bachelor’s degree $101,650

Contacts for More Information

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

O*NET

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Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Industrial Production Managers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/industrial-production-managers.htm (visited September 01, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014