How to Become an Industrial Production Manager
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.
Employers typically require or prefer that industrial production managers have a bachelor’s degree. However, some workers qualify for jobs if they have a high school diploma and extensive production experience.
For workers who have a degree, common majors include business and engineering. Some employers prefer to hire industrial production managers who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a graduate degree in industrial management.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Industrial production managers usually need years of work experience in supervisory or other leadership positions. Some begin as production workers and move up through the ranks.
Industrial production workers usually advance to supervisory or other leadership positions before eventually becoming industrial production managers. Some take company-sponsored management classes to increase their chances of a promotion.
Those with a college degree might begin as a supervisor or lower-level manager. Other college graduates may be hired as an industrial production manager and complete training programs. 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, they may spend short periods of time working in other departments, such as purchasing or accounting, to learn more about the company.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although they are not required to do so, industrial production managers may earn certifications to demonstrate competency in quality or management systems. The American Society of Quality (ASQ) offers credentials in quality control and various levels of Six Sigma certifications. Because these credentials often require specific work experience, they typically are not available prior to entering the occupation.
Business skills. Industrial production managers handle budgets for production facilities, hire and manage staff, and coordinate work between different departments.
Interpersonal skills. Industrial production managers must have excellent communication skills to work well other managers and with staff. Some industrial production managers oversee customer relationships.
Leadership skills. To keep the production process running smoothly, industrial production managers must motivate and direct employees.
Organizational skills. Industrial production managers must keep track of many details to efficiently manage the operations of a production facility.
Problem-solving skills. Production managers must identify and address problems that arise. 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.