- Ensure manufacturing processes run smoothly, are cost-effective, and deliver products on time.
- You'll need project management, communication, maths and IT skills
- You could progress to factory management or strategic planning roles, and may have the opportunity to work overseas
As a production manager, you may work in vehicle assembly, brewing, food, textiles, pharmaceuticals, building materials. You'll work closely with supervisors, maintenance technicians, company buyers, suppliers, quality control, training departments, and health and safety managers.
Your day-to-day tasks will depend on what type of production you're managing, which will include planning, controlling, supervising, and reporting.
- Preparing orders
- Setting quality standards and estimating timescales and costs
If in controlling, you'll be:
- Monitoring production schedules
- Adjusting them if problems occur supervision
Supervising will include:
- Managing supervisors
- Organising staff and making sure targets are met
If working in reporting, you'll:
- Put together production reports for factory managers and clients
You'll usually have your own office, but will also spend a lot of time on the factory floor with supervisory staff and workers. You'll wear protective clothing in production areas.
For this role, you'll need leadership skills, knowledge of manufacturing production and processes, thoroughness and attention to detail, the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools, good initiative, excellent verbal communication skills, thinking and reasoning skills, and the ability to organise your time and workload.
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma, or degree in manufacturing. Courses at university often specialise in a particular industry, such as food processing, motor vehicles, or pharmaceuticals.
You could learn some necessary skills for this job from a college course, like a level 4 Certificate or Diploma in Management.
You can also complete a degree apprenticeship in management.
You can start out as an engineering technician or quality control officer in a manufacturing company, then become a team leader and shift supervisor before moving into production management.
Direct application is possible on management training schemes, but they usually ask for a degree or relevant industry experience.
Knowledge of quality management methods, like Lean and Six Sigma, might also be useful to get into this role.
With experience, you could move into overall factory management or strategic planning roles at regional or national level. If you work for a large national or international company, you may have the opportunity to work overseas.