what is a production manager?

As a production manager, you coordinate and oversee the daily operation of a manufacturing or production plant. You direct activities related to producing various goods, from computer equipment to cars and other consumer goods. As the production department's decision-maker, you ensure that production stays on schedule and within budget. You also decide the best way to use the equipment and production employees in order to meet production goals.

The duties of a production manager include hiring, training and evaluating workers. You also analyze production data and check the daily and weekly production reports to ensure that the department meets all performance and safety requirements. You manage the budgets, schedule production and supervise the production team. Ensuring the production department functions as intended helps exceed quality expectations.

In television and film production, you are responsible for budgeting, negotiating contracts and scheduling the production plan. You meet producers and senior production staff to examine scripts or programme ideas. You also oversee location bookings and conduct the necessary permissions and risk assessments. During filming, you ensure the insurance, health and safety rules are followed.

Would working as a production manager suit your leadership or critical thinking skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a production manager role.

production manager jobs

average production manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a production manager is $99,935 per year. When you are in an entry-level or a junior production manager role, your starting salary is $71,173 annually. The most experienced workers make up to $150,387 yearly due to the complex duties and demanding responsibilities associated with the role.

 how to increase your salary as a production manager?

The salary of a production manager varies depending on experience and qualifications. When you are new in the role, you have minimal experience. That means your salary is lower compared to production managers with extensive experience. Your earnings as a production manager also depend on your industry. When you work in industrial or manufacturing settings, your earnings differ from film or TV production managers. Depending on the project, working for a TV or film production may earn you more than a production manager in an industrial setting. Working on large film projects with huge budgets increases your salary potential.

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types of production managers

Some of the types of production managers include:

  • film production managers: as a film production manager, you assist with television and film production. Before production begins, you meet with producers, draw up shooting schedules and estimate the production cost. You hire and negotiate the costs of casting crews and contractors. You also ensure the locations for the shootings are booked. During filming, you manage the production schedule and budget to ensure filming remains on schedule.
  • industrial production managers: as an industrial production manager, you work in a manufacturing plant. You oversee the entire plant and its equipment to ensure workers perform their duties as expected. You also conduct quality control programs and make sure that all finished products meet the required quality levels.
man in warehouse setting
man in warehouse setting

working as a production manager

Working as a production manager involves overseeing a team of workers to ensure the production process runs smoothly. Check out the duties, responsibilities and work schedules of production managers.


production manager skills and education

The requirements to become a production manager include the following:

  • educational qualifications: to become a production manager, you require a college diploma and a university degree. While you can take a business administration or commerce course to become a production manager, it helps to be conversant with your industry. Some production managers have a degree in engineering or other manufacturing-related courses, such as food science.
  • work experience: to become a production manager, you require several years of experience as a middle manager in the production unit. If you specialize in a particular functional area, you can gain experience through internship opportunities and entry-level jobs.

competencies and characteristics of production managers

Production managers need both technical and soft skills, such as:

  • organization skills: as a production manager, you oversee the entire production process and manage diverse groups of people. Having strong organizational skills helps you fulfil your duties. You can manage your time effectively and handle administrative tasks with good organizational skills. These skills are important for maintaining files, budgeting and recruiting employees.
  • communication skills: as a production manager, you work with various teams. That means you constantly communicate to relay instructions and provide feedback to employees. You attend meetings with senior managers to determine the company's production goals. Your written communication skills help you prepare reports that the executives can understand.
  • leadership skills: as a production manager, you require leadership skills to guide your team to success. Your leadership skills help you build meaningful relationships with those you work with. The skills also help you in decision-making and ensuring the production schedule is adhered to.
  • problem-solving skills: as a production manager, you require problem-solving skills to help you assess challenges at the workplace. You rely on your problem-solving skills to gather information, draw conclusions and find strategies to overcome obstacles. Critical thinking skills help you anticipate challenges and minimize or avoid these challenges to ensure a smooth production process.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a production manager.


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