A person who would like to become a continuous improvement manager first should acquire the necessary education. An undergraduate degree in a field such as finance or management can be a good start, though if you would like to work in a field such as pharmaceuticals, you also might benefit from a science degree. In most cases, a graduate degree is preferred by employers who want to hire continuous improvement managers. Aside from academic preparation, it also may be necessary to earn professional certification that shows employers that you have learned how to manage effectively. It also is important that you get much experience as a leader in an industry in which you are interested.
Continuous improvement managers are professionals who are responsible for continually finding ways to help an organization to cut cost, increase efficiency, and improve profitability. This kind of manager also might be required to help executives learn about new opportunities for growth. A continuous improvement manager might be responsible for optimizing processes in almost every department of an organization, including inventory, Information Technology (IT), and customer service.
To become a continuous improvement manager, it might help to identify the field you would like to work in, since this insight can help you to choose the right degree concentration. If you are unsure about the industry in which you most are interested, you can major in a field such as management that can help you to learn organizational philosophies. Plan on attending a graduate program. Even if you choose to study a specialized field, such as science or engineering, you should take courses that help you to learn about process methods and equipment that are used in real world contexts.
An individual who wants to be a continuous improvement manager should plan on getting many years of experience as a leader in an industry of his or her choice. If you take an entry level position after graduation, make sure that you express to your supervisor that you are interested in having more responsibility. People who feel stuck in positions where there are few opportunities for growth may want to seek new positions.
In order to become a continuous improvement manager, you join professional organizations and earn professional certifications that prepare you for this profession. Courses that teach you the principles and practices of lean management and total quality management can be beneficial. Most professional organizations and certification programs require that applicants have a minimum number of years of related job experience.