If you are an organized individual who enjoys the satisfaction of a job well done, you could be suited to a career as a plant manager. In this role, you will be responsible for operations in a manufacturing plant. This includes ensuring that procedures are followed and providing training for staff members. Part of your role will involve reporting to upper management.
Your overall purpose as a plant manager will be to keep things running smoothly in the production plant. Doing so will involve things like organizing schedules, ensuring company policies are adhered to and attending to staffing matters like onboarding. You will also be responsible for reporting to upper management from time to time.
Working as a plant manager will typically involve standard business hours of 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday, roughly 8 am to 5 pm. This should be the case regardless of the operational hours of your production, though you will likely need to be available in emergency situations. Overtime is also common for a plant manager, though this comes with the territory in many management roles. You will be the last stop in the company hierarchy before upper management, meaning you will be expected to deal with almost all matters that arise from your production floor.
It’s impossible to prepare for every potential interview question you might be asked. However, there are some common questions that you would expect to find in interviews for a plant manager position. It helps to put some thought into your answers ahead of time. Some of these common questions include:
You should treat your cover letter like an opening sales pitch. The first impressions your potential employer will have of you will come from this letter, so make an effort to format it professionally and check for mistakes. Use this opportunity to draw attention to any highlights from your career so far, as well as talking about how you think you are good fit for the company. Your resume is a little more straightforward, but be sure to include the following things;
The outlook for workers in or aiming to be in a plant manager role is positive. While automation is eroding the number of jobs available on the production floor, this is not a factor at the management level. Additionally, production as an industry is as high as ever, and the number of plant manager jobs is not expected to fall. The outlook is also positive in terms of the potential for growth and progression from this role. Upper management and executive roles are possible paths forward from work as a plant manager.
The role of a plant manager is fundamentally the same across different industries. That being said, the industry—and, to a lesser extent, the type of business—will change your job to some degree. This is mostly down to the expertise you will need to have. For example, a plant manager for a company that makes soft toys will have a different experience to a plant manager for a company that makes engines. Aspects like supply chain management, staffing concerns, scheduling, and other responsibilities are the same. However, you will need to understand your industry to be effective in this role.
The average pay for a plant manager in Canada is very good. Indeed, it is among the highest-paid non-executive roles in the country. At around $69,000 per year, even an entry-level plant manager position is in line with the national average salary for Canada. The average for a plant manager is around $90,000 per year or $46 per hour. At the higher end of the pay scale, the most experienced and senior plant managers can earn as much as $130,000 per year.
Top paying areas for plant managers in Canada include: Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec.
As a plant manager, your duties and responsibilities will be more or less the same regardless of the specifics of the company you work for. These include:
In your role as a plant manager, you will mostly be based in an office. This usually means climate-control and comfortable office furniture. You will likely have to pay a visit to the production floor on a regular basis, however, which may be loud and less comfortable in terms of temperature.
Much like your responsibilities, the skills and competencies you will need should be more or less consistent regardless of the industry you work in. These include:
You will need at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject matter to be considered for this role. Relevant subjects can include business management, engineering, or a subject closely related to the industry you will be working in. Some employers may consider applicants who do not have a degree but do have many years of relevant experience. This is often (though not exclusively) an internal hiring situation. It is, however, uncommon and should not be considered a viable path to this profession.
The role is a senior management position, so your employer will almost certainly want previous experience. That experience should include working in a production plant environment as well as some supervisory or managerial experience. The amount of required experience differs, but a typical requirement is ten years.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about plant manager jobs.
Though there are exceptions, you will almost certainly need a bachelor’s degree in something like business management, engineering, or a subject relevant to your industry. You will also need a good deal of experience in a production plant environment, as well as some experience in a supervisory or managerial role. Every employer is different, but it is common to require 5-10 years of relevant experience for the role of plant manager.
Locating new plant manager jobs is relatively simple in this day and age. There are many job sites to search, and the hirers looking to fill plant manager roles will make use of them. You can search through plant manager vacancies on Randstad’s job seeker page for plant manager.
When you spot a plant manager job you like on our job seeker page, all you need to do is create an account and sign in. From there, you can apply for the role you are interested in.
If you want to be among the first to hear about new listings on Randstad, you can sign up for our newsletter. Of course, you can also check the websites of companies you are interested in working for and follow them on social media.
A plant manager oversees all operations on the production floor, from staffing matters to finances to machinery. They are essentially in charge of this aspect of the operation and will typically report to upper management.
The size of the organization and operation will have an effect on this, but as a general rule, plant managers will be reported to by plant supervisors. Plant supervisors are the next rung down on the hierarchy and manage more of the day-to-day running of the production plant.
A good plant manager should be able to lead their team effectively, create and enforce policies that improve quality and efficiency, and keep their production floor on track and within budget. This requires good leadership, organizational, and communication skills, as well as the ability to deal with stress.
Applying for a plant manager job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!