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Production Manager

Production managers make sure that manufacturing processes run smoothly, are cost-effective and deliver products on time. As a production manager, you could work in all types of manufacturing. Trained and qualified Operations Managers make a difference. They are fundamental to boosting productivity, raising quality standards and improving efficiency throughout the business.

Your work would cover the three main areas of the production process:

Planning – preparing an order, setting quality standards and estimating timescales and costs

Control – monitoring production schedules and adjusting them if problems occur

Supervision – managing the production line, organising staff, and making sure targets are met.

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

You would work closely with maintenance technicians, company buyers, suppliers, quality control, training departments, and health and safety managers.

Entry Requirements

One way of getting into this career is to start as a production operative in a manufacturing company. You could then work your way up to team leader and into production management.

You may be able to get into production manufacturing work through a manufacturing Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.

Alternatively, you could complete a foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND or degree in manufacturing, and then apply to a company's management training scheme. Manufacturing courses at universities often specialise in a particular industry, for instance food processing or pharmaceuticals.

You could expect to work 37 to 40 hours a week. This may involve shiftwork or on-call duties to deal with out-of-hours problems.

Although you would have your own office, you would spend a lot of your time on the factory floor, discussing day-to-day issues with supervisory staff and workers. You would wear protective clothing in production areas.

Average salaries fall between £25,000 and £40,000.

Useful Websites

The Institute of Operations Management

online magazines