Manufacturing & Production
Production managers manage and control all of the manufacturing operations and processes within a production plant.
What does a Production Manager do?
Production managers manage and control all of the manufacturing operations and processes within a production plant. They coordinate, plan, and direct the manufacturing of a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, pharmaceuticals, food, textiles and paper products. Production managers are also known as manufacturing managers or production supervisors.
As a productions manager, you would:
- produce a production schedule and oversee the production process
- ensure that production stays on schedule and within budget
- make sure that manufactured products meet required quality standards
- plan both the human and material resources needed
- analyse production data and produce production reports
- ensure that health and safety requirements are followed
- streamline the production process as necessary
- be responsible for the selection and maintenance of equipment
- liaise closely with other departments in ares such as supply and distribution
- working with managers to implement the company's policies and goals
- supervise and motivate teams of workers
- review the performance of workers and identify any training needs.
Key skills and interests
To become a production manager, you would need:
- excellent time and project management skills
- knowledge of manufacturing processes
- practical technical skills
- good IT skills and knowledge of manufacturing software
- the ability to work to deadlines
- a willingness to work flexibly
- an adherence to health and safety in your work
- good people management and motivational skills
- good communication skills.
Working hours and conditions
As a production manager you would usually work a standard number of hours per week. This may include shift work on evenings and weekends depending on the operation of the manufacturing plant. You may also need to be on cal outside of your normal working hours.
Production managers would usually work in an office inside the manufacturing facility, and spend some of their time in the production area. In production areas you would wear appropriate safety equipment or protective clothing.
How to become an Production Manager?
Entry Level Education
Some production managers begin as production workers and move up through the ranks, but increasingly, to become a production manager, you would need a degree in manufacturing, industrial engineering or business management, combined with strong IT skills. To get into these courses, you would usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, maths, and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment of production managers is projected to decline.
In recent years, a large amount of Australian manufacturing in industries such as textiles, clothing and footwear, metal and wood products has moved offshore because of cost pressures. This has seen a move into the production and export of more sophisticated products in industries such as medical equipment, telecommunications, electronic and industry-specific engineered machinery.
This shift towards the manufacture of more complex products requires skilled and more highly qualified workers in manufacturing management. Some more traditional manufacturing areas are expected to maintain positive employment growth in the near future, including food product manufacturing.