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Production manager (manufacturing)

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Production managers make sure manufacturing processes run smoothly and cost-effectively, and deliver products on time.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You can get into this work in a number of ways, including:

  • working you way up from a junior production role
  • management training, which you may get into with a foundation degree, HND or degree in manufacturing
  • an apprenticeship

It may be helpful to be familiar with national and international quality standards for your industry, according to the British Standards Institution (BSI).

Knowledge of quality management methods might also be useful.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • project management skills
  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • maths and IT skills

3. What you'll do

You may work in:

  • vehicle assembly
  • brewing
  • food
  • textiles
  • pharmaceuticals
  • building materials

You'll work closely with supervisors, maintenance technicians, company buyers, suppliers, quality control, training departments, and health and safety managers. Your work would cover the three main areas of the production process:

  • planning – preparing orders, setting quality standards and estimating timescales and costs
  • control – monitoring production schedules and adjusting them if problems occur
  • supervision – managing supervisors, organising staff and making sure targets are met

You'll also put together production reports for factory managers and clients.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £24,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 to £40,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week. This may involve shift work or on-call duties.

You'll usually have your own office, but will also spend a lot of time on the factory floor with supervisory staff and workers. You'll wear protective clothing in production areas.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into overall factory management or strategic planning roles at regional or national level.

If you work for a large national or international company, you may have the opportunity to work overseas.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018