Job descriptions and industry overviews

Production manager: job description

19 Jan 2024, 15:15

Production managers are responsible for the technical management, supervision and control of industrial production processes.

production manager job description

What does a production manager do? Graduate salaries | Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Production managers ensure that manufacturing processes run reliably and efficiently. Responsibilities of the job include:

  • planning and organising production schedules
  • assessing project and resource requirements
  • estimating, negotiating and agreeing budgets and timescales with clients and managers
  • ensuring that health and safety regulations are met
  • determining quality control standards
  • overseeing production processes
  • renegotiating timescales or schedules as necessary
  • selecting, ordering and purchasing materials
  • organising the repair and routine maintenance of production equipment
  • liaising with buyers and marketing and sales staff
  • supervising and managing the work of junior staff
  • organising relevant training sessions.

What salary will I make?

In larger companies, there may be close links between production management and general or strategic management and marketing or finance roles.

Graduate salaries in production management are around £35,000. With two years’ experience you can expect a salary of over £40,000, with more senior roles offering salaries over £50,000.

Who are the typical employers of production managers?

Food manufacturing and processing companies employ the majority of production managers.

You can also find jobs with:

  • pharmaceuticals companies
  • defence sector
  • aerospace manufacturers
  • electronic and electrical goods manufacturers.

You may be able to find a graduate scheme in production management, for which a degree relevant to the industry and employer may be required. An alternative route into this career is starting as a trainee or in a junior post such as a production supervisor, material planner or in inventory control. With appropriate experience, production managers may gain responsibility for several sites, possibly including production plants overseas.

Business management graduate jobs are advertised online at targetjobs, by careers services and on specialist websites. Specialist recruitment agencies may also advertise vacancies.

What qualifications and training are required?

It is possible to enter this profession with a degree or higher national diploma (HND) in any subject. However, depending on the industry you are trying to enter, some employers may require a sector-specific discipline such as business management, electrical, electronic, mechanical, process or production engineering, materials science or biochemistry. The degrees permitted will change across industries and employers.

Membership with a professional body such as the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport or the Chartered Management Institute may be beneficial. Both offer opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD), career-related events and networking opportunities.

What are the key skills for production managers?

Employers will be looking for:

  • confidence
  • technical skills
  • project management skills
  • organisation and efficiency
  • leadership and interpersonal skills
  • problem solving skills
  • IT and numerical skills
  • communication skills
  • teamworking skills.

Managers must also be able to handle responsibility and the pressure of meeting deadlines.

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