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Industrial Production Managers

At a Glance

  • Plan the production schedules at plants and factories
  • Monitor product quality
  • Work closely with workers, executives, and department heads
  • Usually work over 40 hours per week
  • Have a bachelor's degree plus work experience

Career summary

Industrial production managers oversee production in manufacturing plants.

Industrial production managers may also be called production managers or production supervisors.

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Industrial production managers may oversee all aspects of production. In large plants, one manager is in charge of each operation.

They work in companies that produce:

Production managers figure out how best to use plant workers and equipment to meet production goals. They must keep production on schedule and within budget limits.

Managers negotiate prices for supplies and materials. They decide when to buy new equipment. They look for ways to make the production process efficient.

Production managers hire and train new employees. Sometimes they retrain current workers to use new equipment. They also decide when workers need to work overtime in order to meet production goals.

Using industry standards, managers monitor the quality of the manufactured products. They test random samples from the production line. If the problem is poor work, managers may try to improve training programs. If the problem is poor materials, managers work with the purchasing department to improve the quality of purchased parts.

Production managers work closely with managers of other departments. For example, production managers may work with the purchasing department to be sure that plant inventories are kept at their best level.

Production managers usually report to plant managers or vice presidents. They also act as a link between top managers and line supervisors.

Production managers must stay up to date on developments in their field, including quality control.

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to industrial production managers.

Common work activities

Industrial production managers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, industrial production managers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

It is important for industrial production managers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for industrial production managers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Industrial production managers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Use math and science

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an industrial production manager, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Industrial production managers often have an associate or bachelor's degree and related work experience. Requirements vary widely because there is such a variety of manufacturing plants. For example, some managers may have a high school diploma or an associate degree and several years of work experience. The manufacturing processes depend on the product. For instance, a plant making patio furniture is quite different from one making microchips. In general, as products become more complex, managers need more training and experience.

A bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in business administration (MBA) is good preparation for this occupation. However, a bachelor's in business plus work experience is sufficient for many management jobs.

Work experience

In general, employers prefer to hire people who have at least five years of experience in their industry. It helps if some of your time is spent as a supervisor.

On-the-job training

Some employers have management training programs for new college graduates. You receive training in the company's products and policies. You also learn about the manufacturing process and your job duties. Training may last several months up to a year; two to three months of training is the most common.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Many employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in business administration (MBA). However, this combination is rarely required. Some companies hire well-rounded liberal arts graduates.

Employers also look for production managers with the ability to compromise, persuade, and negotiate. Excellent communication skills are very important.

Some production managers work their way up from the ranks. Production line supervisors who are promoted to production managers must have demonstrated leadership qualities. They usually also have taken company training in management and communication skills.


Some training in quality control techniques is helpful. Summer job experience in a manufacturing or service industry may be beneficial. Once in this field, a willingness to work extra hours and learn the technical aspects of areas such as maintenance and processing is also helpful.


Certification is optional for Industrial Production Managers.

The Association for Operations Management (APICS) (external link) offers a credential in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) or as a Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).

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Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Industrial production managers (SOC 11-3051)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $34.79 $44.15 $57.59 $75.07 $93.81
Monthly $6,029 $7,651 $9,980 $13,010 $16,257
Yearly $72,360 $91,830 $119,780 $156,130 $195,130
    Bellingham Hourly $35.78 $42.60 $56.62 $71.43 $87.22
Monthly $6,201 $7,383 $9,812 $12,379 $15,115
Yearly $74,419 $88,617 $117,767 $148,570 $181,416
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $37.14 $44.08 $51.92 $61.40 $72.63
Monthly $6,436 $7,639 $8,998 $10,641 $12,587
Yearly $77,236 $91,672 $107,986 $127,706 $151,069
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $27.91 $41.75 $46.28 $50.83 $58.61
Monthly $4,837 $7,235 $8,020 $8,809 $10,157
Yearly $58,060 $86,849 $96,264 $105,723 $121,926
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $33.98 $42.18 $47.60 $57.34 $79.66
Monthly $5,889 $7,310 $8,249 $9,937 $13,805
Yearly $70,667 $87,741 $99,016 $119,262 $165,693
    Longview Hourly $33.45 $45.57 $57.68 $68.15 $80.03
Monthly $5,797 $7,897 $9,996 $11,810 $13,869
Yearly $69,572 $94,786 $119,960 $141,738 $166,457
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $35.43 $41.66 $51.95 $70.80 $92.80
Monthly $6,140 $7,220 $9,003 $12,270 $16,082
Yearly $73,702 $86,650 $108,043 $147,249 $193,040
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $31.73 $34.38 $38.90 $48.39 $72.67
Monthly $5,499 $5,958 $6,741 $8,386 $12,594
Yearly $66,011 $71,521 $80,906 $100,641 $151,161
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $38.45 $49.61 $62.75 $79.84 $99.61
Monthly $6,663 $8,597 $10,875 $13,836 $17,262
Yearly $79,981 $103,186 $130,520 $166,054 $207,194
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $32.58 $35.84 $44.05 $58.00 $72.56
Monthly $5,646 $6,211 $7,634 $10,051 $12,575
Yearly $67,766 $74,548 $91,614 $120,636 $150,914
    Vancouver Hourly $30.14 $38.10 $47.59 $61.09 $78.43
Monthly $5,223 $6,603 $8,247 $10,587 $13,592
Yearly $62,704 $79,268 $99,003 $127,065 $163,128
    Wenatchee Hourly $28.88 $34.98 $43.19 $50.34 $62.65
Monthly $5,005 $6,062 $7,485 $8,724 $10,857
Yearly $60,070 $72,767 $89,828 $104,700 $130,314
    Yakima Hourly $36.60 $43.20 $50.63 $84.39 $97.56
Monthly $6,343 $7,487 $8,774 $14,625 $16,907
Yearly $76,120 $89,862 $105,307 $175,539 $202,934
United States Hourly $30.51 $38.72 $49.70 $64.45 $82.76
Monthly $5,287 $6,710 $8,613 $11,169 $14,342
Yearly $63,470 $80,530 $103,380 $134,060 $172,150

Salaries vary greatly by industry and plant size. For example, managers in motor vehicle manufacturing tend to earn the highest wages. In addition to salary, industrial production managers may receive bonuses for good job performance.

Industrial production managers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Industrial Production Managers (SOC 11-3051)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 2,858 5.1% 16.1% 232
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 104 6.7% 13.4% 9
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 70 7.1% 8.6% 6
    Benton and Franklin Counties 45 6.7% 15.0% 3
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 54 3.7% 11.9% 4
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 189 6.3% 15.2% 16
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 108 2.8% 14.1% 8
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 214 4.2% 14.6% 17
    King County 1,048 8.6% 19.6% 93
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 119 7.6% 13.8% 10
    Pierce County 174 1.7% 15.2% 13
    Snohomish County 539 0.2% 12.4% 37
    Spokane County 145 6.9% 13.9% 12
United States 186,500 0.6% 5.2% 13,800

National employment

Industrial production managers work in many industries. Jobs are located wherever factories exist. However, jobs are concentrated in heavily industrialized areas.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation will show little to no change. This is partly due to the decline in the manufacturing industry. However, it is also because many companies have increased their productivity, requiring fewer workers. Outsourcing jobs out of the country has contributed to decreased demand for this occupation but there seems to be a trend in "reshoring" jobs back to the US. This will increase demand.

Job openings will occur as current workers leave this occupation. Opportunities should be best for those who have a college degree in industrial engineering or business administration.

Other resources

American Foundry Society (external link)
1695 North Penny Lane
Schaumburg, IL 60173
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (external link)
1800 M Street, NW Suite 900 North
Washington, DC 20036
American Management Association (external link)
APA-The Engineered Wood Association (external link)
7011 South 19th Street
Tacoma, WA 98466
Association for Manufacturing Technology (external link)
7901 Westpark Drive
McLean, VA 22102
International Council of Systems Engineers (external link)
7670 Opportunity Road, Suite 220
San Diego, CA 92111
National Tooling & Machining Association (external link)
1357 Rockside Road
Cleveland, OH 44134
Society of Women Engineers (external link)
130 East Randolph Street, Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60601
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster