Production managers are responsible for planning and coordinating systems and procedures that ensure the proper shipping and handling of products. These managers work to make the production process more efficient by supervising and hiring employees, making work schedules, meeting production quotas and monitoring production equipment. Those seeking to become a production manager generally need a bachelor’s degree in a management-related field or intensive, long-term on-the-job training to gain valuable experience.
An undergraduate degree in management, administration or industrial technology is generally useful to those who wish to become a production manager. A degree in one of these areas will help prepare future managers with supervisory tactics, business skills and industrial training. Some students may also find it useful to take a few industrial training courses at a vocational school after graduation in order to gain experience in production operations.
Though a bachelor’s degree may be helpful to candidates wanting to become a production manager, it isn't always necessary. Some production managers begin their careers working in entry-level assembly line or shipping positions and eventually become promoted into management positions. Many supervisors are eager to promote entry-level workers who display signs of leadership ability and the capacity for learning several different aspects of production work.
Most companies often seek to hire production managers with a generous amount of experience as well. Production managers typically need a wide variety of experience and strong knowledge of the various production jobs. Ideally, a production manager should be able to perform many production duties in addition to supervising the operation and coordinating production.
With or without an undergraduate degree, those seeking to become a production manager will need job-specific training. A general understanding of management and production operations is necessary, but many companies require managers to complete training specific to their industry as well. Companies use different types of production equipment and reporting software and often will provide on-the-job training for new managers, which may last as long as two or three months.
Production managers can generally expect to be required to complete some type of continuing education or procedural training to stay current with technological advancements and industry trends. The continuing education requirements may vary by industry. Some successful production managers may go on to complete graduate degrees in business or industrial management. A graduate degree can lead to a higher-level management or supervisory position.