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Industrial Production Manager

Career Overview

Industrial production managers are in charge of a plant's overall function and production level.  They make sure that equipment is functional and staffing levels are appropriate.  Beyond that, they look for ways to make the production process more efficient.  That may include developing plans for capital expenditures, requiring a management decision on allocation of capital.

Industrial production today has moved away from the traditional assembly line mode.  A production manager has the flexibility to move personnel into working groups, to decide what priorities are on production runs, and whether or not overtime or an extra shift is necessary.  Increasingly, production managers are involved in quality control and more sophisticated usage of personnel.


Most industrial production managers have a bachelors degree in business management, business administration or industrial engineering.  Some workers still ascend to the production manager's role through the ranks.  Generally, these employees are aggressive about studying the working environment and also pursue additional formal education while working up the ladder.

Current Employment

In 2006 there were 157,000 industrial production managers employed, according to a U.S. Department of Labor survey.  Eighty percent of them were in charge of industrial facilities such as steel fabricating plants, computer and electronic manufacturing facilities and the manufacture of autos, trucks and aircraft.

Job Outlook

Opportunities for industrial production managers are expected to decline slightly over the next several years, as traditional manufacturing in the United States continues to give way to foreign competition.  The job classification is projected to drop approximately six percent of available positions over the decade 2006 - 2016.

Salary Range

Lowest 10% $23.40 $48,670

Median Salary $38.73 $80,560

Highest 10% $65.14 $135,500

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