What Is a Production Manager? (Duties and Qualifications)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A production manager plans production schedules and ensures the maintenance and repair of manufacturing equipment and machines. Their direction and skill set are essential for timely, on-budget and safe production of quality products and goods. Learning more about this field can help you understand the desired qualification, skills and work experience required to excel in this profession. In this article, we answer “What is a production manager?”, explore their day-to-day duties and average salary and outline the steps required to become a successful production manager.

What is a production manager?

A production manager is responsible for ensuring that the production of manufacturing products starts and finishes within budget and on time. They plan, schedule, coordinate and organise different production schedules and activities. The production manager ensures all products meet the required quality standards. Using different techniques and ways, these managers elevate the manufacturing and production of an organisation.

What does a production manager do?

Apart from overseeing the production process and coordinating production activities and operations, a production manager is responsible for the following:

  • creating a schedule for production

  • selecting equipment, maintaining and repairing it

  • setting quality standards

  • ensuring production is cost-effective and the production process is economical

  • discussing budget expectations with clients

  • ensuring health and safety protocols of machinery and equipment

  • overseeing team members while maximising efficiency

  • reducing expenses across product lines

  • maintaining product quality as set by management

  • collaborating with team members to set and evaluate production goals

  • determining ways to improve production efficiency

  • motivating, supporting and guiding team members

Skills of a production manager

To become a successful production manager, you require the following skills:

Communication

A production manager requires effective communication skills to communicate business goals and targets to their team members. They may use verbal or written communication skills to communicate their ideas to their production line workers or management. Also, they may use written communication skills to create production reports.

Problem-solving

When equipment breaks down or to overcome a problem in the production process, companies often turn to production managers to fix the problem. So, these professionals require excellent problem-solving skills to find a solution. Solving production-related problems can help in keeping the production schedule on time.

Leadership

One of the job-specific duties of a production manager is motivating team members to improve production efficiency. This requires excellent leadership skills. Strong leadership qualities can help a manager earn the trust of team members. This is necessary to complete projects on time and within budget and helps in improving the overall production process.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Technical skills

Often, production managers use technical skills to assess and improve the overall functionality of the manufacturing process. The ability to use different manufacturing equipment is essential for a successful career as a production manager. Also, having the ability to learn new technologies and technical equipment is desirable for this job.

Teamwork

Completing a task in a manufacturing environment often requires production managers to coordinate and collaborate with team members. The ability to work in a team is a desirable skill for this job. Also, a good production manager prioritises their tasks and ensures their team is also prioritising and working efficiently.

Organisational skills

Often, production managers work on tight deadlines. To meet the expectations and deadlines, they require strong organisational skills. As they oversee many manufacturing processes, they require excellent multi-tasking to excel in their job. Also, strong organisational skills help a production manager complete their task without missing intricate details.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition and Examples

Analytical skills

Production managers often assess the production data and reports to identify areas of improvement. This helps in improving the manufacturing process's quality and efficiency. When manufacturing processes are complex, these professionals analyse every step of the process to spot issues and find areas for improvement.

Proficiency in manufacturing standards

Regardless of the industry in which they work, a production manager requires proficiency in different manufacturing standards to produce products as per requirement. Also, a production manager cultivates and implements performance measures to ensure required production standards. This requires a strong grasp of manufacturing standards related to a particular industry in which they work.

Proficiency in health and safety procedures

Having in-depth and up-to-date information on the policies and procedures required to manage a safe and compliant manufacturing facility is essential for this job role. To ensure the workplace safety of all employees, employers often prefer candidates with certifications in health and safety. You can complete such certifications during your studies or after gaining some years of experience.

Average salary of a production manager

The average salary of a production manager is ₹4,28,056 per year. The salary may vary depending on your experience, company, skills and job locations. Some cities may pay a higher salary when compared to others. For instance, the average salary of a production manager in Hyderabad is ₹8,68,453 per year, whereas the average salary in Kolkata is ₹4,29,861 per year.

Related: Gross Salary and Net Salary: Definitions and Examples

How to become a production manager

To become a production manager, follow these steps:

1. Complete your education

The bare minimum requirement of becoming a production manager is a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree in a related field, including business management or industrial engineering, can be a good starting point. You may even consider pursuing engineering courses or completing a BBA degree after completing your 10+2.

2. Gain experience

If there is a particular industry in which you want to work, consider gaining relevant experience through internships or entry-level positions. Some employers may prefer hiring candidates with relevant industry experience. So, complete your internship either during your coursework or after completing your bachelor's degree.

3. Pursue higher education

To advance your career and increase your salary, you may pursue a master's degree in business management. Often, employers prefer candidates with an MBA degree. A master's degree in a relevant field equips you with the relevant skill set to complete your job-specific duties.

4. Complete a technical certification

Production management certification is a great way to speed up your career graph and showcase your skill set to potential employers. The following certifications may be helpful:

  • Certified Manufacturing Technology Management Professional

  • Certified Production Manager

  • Certified Production Planning and Control Professional

Completing one or two of these certifications is an excellent way for a fulfilling career as a production manager.

5. Create your CV

The next step is creating your CV, enlisting your skill, experience and relevant qualification. When writing your CV, mention only the most relevant production manager experience to become a suitable candidate for the job role. Also, include your certifications to increase your chances of getting hired. Before applying for any job position, read the job description, pick out keywords and include them in your CV. This makes your CV applicant tracking system (ATS) compliant.

Work environment of a production manager

A production manager spends a significant part of their workday in a manufacturing plant or facility. They may conduct organisational tasks in an office setting. Also, during their workday, they may meet managers and business stakeholders to interpret results and make recommendations for improving the overall efficiency of a business process. Some manufacturing companies that employ a production manager are:

  • automobile

  • aerospace and defence

  • heavy engineering

  • chemical engineering

  • food processing

  • pharmaceuticals

  • printing

  • textiles

  • electronics and electrical consumer goods

Though production managers primarily work from their office, they may require occasional travel to different manufacturing plants or meet business stakeholders. Production managers typically work full time, but they may work overtime or on weekends based on the production schedule. Also, to protect themselves from machines and equipment, they wear goggles, headgears, helmets and boots while working in a manufacturing facility.

Production manager job description example

Here is an example of a production manager's job description:

Our chemical plant is looking for a highly motivated, organised and experienced production manager. The production manager would create production schedules, ensure the purchase of required material and oversee the complete production process of our chemical plant. Apart from overseeing the production capabilities, the manager suggests techniques to improve the production process. As the manager would manage a team of production engineers, this role requires strong leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Previous experience in handling and leading a team in a similar role is desirable.

Our ideal candidate does not mind putting in extra hours and working with other employees to improve our plant's output. We are looking for a candidate with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering or business management.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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