By Nsim Team
Although there are other paths you can take, a very effective route for becoming a production manager is to follow these general steps:
1. Excel in coursework in English, Drama, Computers, Accounting & Economics in high school
2. Determine if this occupation is suited to your interests and qualities
3. Pursue a degree in Business or Engineering
4. Find a suitable job (it may be entry-level)
5. Progress into roles of greater pay and responsibility as you gain experience
Production managers are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. This involves overseeing and coordinating plant operations including machining, assembly, receiving, output and equipment maintenance, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that performance in shipping, inventory and output is at optimal levels, and that work is done safely.
Although their specific duties can vary from job to job, production managers are generally responsible for the following:
• Maintaining current knowledge and skill set pertaining to production and production management
• Planning, organizing and directing manufacturing and maintenance operations
• Developing plans and processes that minimize manufacturing costs through effective utilization of manpower, equipment, facilities, materials, and capital
• Maintaining and improving housekeeping of production facility
• Continually improving site safety by addressing physical safety and employee safety issues
• Managing budget and expenditures, being sure to operate within budgetary parameters
• Establishing individual and group accountabilities throughout department
• Ensuring that collective bargaining agreements are in place
There is no standard educational requirement that you have to meet to become a production manager, but earning a degree in Business or Engineering is highly recommended.
A degree in Business will help you learn how to run a production facility and manage processes and employees, whereas an Engineering degree will help you understand manufacturing processes, as well as equipment and materials used.
Employers of production managers typically including the following types of organizations:
• Management consulting firms
• Fabricated metal product manufacturers
• Transportation equipment manufacturers
• Electronic equipment manufacturers
• Chemical manufacturers
• Machinery manufacturers
• Textiles manufacturers
• Food and drug manufacturers
• Commercial goods manufacturers (such as automobiles, furniture, toys, etc.)
• Various other sectors of industry
Determining if a career field suits your personality as well as your professional ambitions is just as important, albeit in a different way, than meeting its formal requirements, such as obtaining the necessary education.
After all, you won’t much enjoy a career that doesn’t align with your values, hold your interest, or require traits that you simply don’t have.
If you have the following traits, qualities and interests, a career as a production manager might be an excellent fit for you:
• You have mental and emotional stamina
• You enjoy work that involves logical, systematic processes
• You can act decisively to solve staff or equipment-related problems
• You have outstanding organizational and time management abilities
• You have the ability to motivate, lead and inspire others
• You enjoy directing workflow, and directing the work of others
• You’re interested in working with managers from other departments to achieve a company’s overall goals
• You’re interested in a well-paying career in business with plenty of opportunities for advancement
• You’re interested in spending time on a shop floor around big gear and machinery
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