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As a production manager, you probably work in an industry that manufactures products, though you can also work in service industries where high-volume processing is required. As a production manager, you’ll need a thorough understanding of your industry so you can plan schedules, estimate the cost of labour and materials, and manage daily activities. Many production managers start as employees on the production floor, learning about their organization from the ground up.
If you're thinking of becoming a production manager, it might seem like a big step, but if you’ve accumulated industry knowledge and have experience training and leading a crew of workers, you might be ready for a promotion.
Many industries that hire production managers operate 24/7 in a plant or factory. Your hours of work will reflect the workers’ shifts that exist in your organization. Normally, you’ll work 40 hours a week, with the possibility of overtime, and report to a plant manager. As a production manager, you are the front line of management representing your employer on the shop floor.
Production manager salaries in Canada depend on your location and industry. Salaries range from $41,000 to $77,000 annually. When you first take a supervisory position, your salary will be at the lower end of the range. The more experience you have as a production manager, the higher your earning potential. The overall average salary for a production manager in manufacturing in Canada is about $80,000 a year.
As a production manager, workers will look up to you, so your conduct must be exemplary. You lead others and set expectations so you’ll need to follow all the rules, acting as an ambassador for your organization. You’ll have managerial tasks such as planning work, quality control checks, and evaluating workers. As a production manager, you’ll be involved in:
As a production manager, you can work anywhere there is manufacturing. Manufacturing growth is expected to create opportunities in Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Barrie. Prospects for manufacturing jobs are also good in Montréal, Edmonton, Calgary, and the lower mainland of BC.
You can find manufacturing jobs in many industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage production, transportation, electronics, technology, and other industries.
A successful production manager motivates and supervises workers. An ability to develop strategies and communicate with your staff to promote teamwork will be among your most valuable talents. In addition, you’ll need:
The training and certifications to become a production manager will depend on the position. If you’re looking for work in electronics, you may need a post-secondary education in IT. Likewise, an aerospace job could require an engineering certification. Most employers will give preference to candidates with a college diploma or university degree in the field.
Regardless of your education and training, most employers look for many years of work experience before considering you for a supervisory role. Consider starting your career as a worker to learn as much as possible while getting solid experience under your belt. Many have worked their way up to a production manager job.
Improve your chances of being promoted by completing certifications in your field. Consider post-secondary programs or courses in lean manufacturing, occupational safety, business administration, management, or industrial technology.
With your education and background as a production manager, you’ll be well versed in many aspects of management, positioning you as a candidate for more senior roles such as plant manager, general manager, or director of operations.