A manufacturing manager is a professional who manages the day-to-day operations of the organization's production process to ensure that all workers and departments meet the organization's productivity and efficiency standards. Manufacturing managers work under a department head and assist them in planning and directing an efficient equipment layout and material flow. They implement quality control programs that ensure finished products are in par with a certain standard. They also train manufacturing workers and monitor them to ensure that they meet performance and safety requirements.

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Manufacturing Manager Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real manufacturing manager resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead plant start up efforts by implementing TPM systems, training, tracking, course correction.
  • Manage a 3 shift 63 machinist , 15 mfg engineers, and 5 support CNC machining operations.
  • Manage cross-functional teams to derive root cause analysis and resolutions for deviations, investigations and CAPA's.
  • Manage tech transfers, DFM, suppliers and CMO on late stage & commercial drug-device combination products.
  • Manage all tissue valve production functions including QC inspection, machine shop, custom device and surgical accessories.
  • Utilize applicable decision making tools to consider assets, evaluate effectiveness and realign to achieve strategic goals and ROI.
  • Generate management review metrics, identify KPIs and implement MRP tracking system.
  • Serve as point of contact on manufacturing issues for the FDA, DEA, OSHA, and other regulatory agencies.
  • Implement lead manufacturing principles to achieve continuous improvement processes; hire qualified machinists; ensure division-wide OSHA compliance.
  • Promote the KAIZEN star program.
  • Lead DFM reviews at board and system levels.
  • Help in engineering department with machine design via SolidWorks and AutoCAD as needed.
  • Direct prototype techs on a project basis to meet new equipment run off requirements.
  • Implement six sigma quality initiatives, improving process capability from 1.0 to greater than 1.7 CPK.
  • Programme aerospace parts in Inconel, Wasperloy, Hasperloy & Renee using Mastercam and Solidworks software.

Manufacturing Manager Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, manufacturing manager jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "little or no change" at 1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a manufacturing manager?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of manufacturing manager opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 1,200.

A manufacturing manager annual salary averages $101,712, which breaks down to $48.9 an hour. However, manufacturing managers can earn anywhere from upwards of $71,000 to $145,000 a year. This means that the top-earning manufacturing managers make $95,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a manufacturing manager, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a general supervisor, production administrator, plant superintendent, and continuous improvement manager.

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Manufacturing Manager Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 10% of Manufacturing Managers are proficient in Continuous Improvement, Lean Manufacturing, and Production Schedules. They’re also known for soft skills such as Leadership skills, Problem-solving skills, and Time-management skills.

We break down the percentage of Manufacturing Managers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Continuous Improvement, 10%

    Drive manufacturing initiatives and continuous improvement plans in order to achieve aggressive quality, cost reduction, productivity and inventory goals.

  • Lean Manufacturing, 9%

    Created/delivered structured Lean Manufacturing coursework.

  • Production Schedules, 4%

    Coordinated work assignments to meet production schedules, manufactured products to meet quality specification, evaluates production department and individual performance.

  • Production Supervisors, 4%

    Give directions and immediate supervision to Production supervisors, CNC programmers, Manufacturing engineer and Planning and inventory management team.

  • Sigma, 4%

    Sponsored various Six Sigma Belt Projects for Engineer providing guidance in process, solution implementation and stakeholder management.

  • Project Management, 3%

    Implemented professional-development programs for manufacturing personnel in yield and quality management, project management, leadership, and manufacturing optimization.

Some of the skills we found on manufacturing manager resumes included "continuous improvement," "lean manufacturing," and "production schedules." We have detailed the most important manufacturing manager responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for a manufacturing manager to have in this position are leadership skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a manufacturing manager resume, you'll understand why: "to keep the production process running smoothly, industrial production managers must motivate and direct the employees they manage." According to resumes we found, leadership skills can be used by a manufacturing manager in order to "received employee excellence award for erp project completion from oas leadership. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many manufacturing manager duties rely on problem-solving skills. This example from a manufacturing manager explains why: "production managers must identify problems immediately and solve them." This resume example is just one of many ways manufacturing managers are able to utilize problem-solving skills: "researched erp systems as a prerequisite to an integrated solution for anticipated growth. "
  • Time-management skills is also an important skill for manufacturing managers to have. This example of how manufacturing managers use this skill comes from a manufacturing manager resume, "to meet production deadlines, managers must carefully manage their employees’ time as well as their own." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "monitor workflow utilizing erp system to ensure on time delivery and effective use of resources. "
  • In order for certain manufacturing manager responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "interpersonal skills." According to a manufacturing manager resume, "industrial production managers must have excellent communication skills so they can work well other managers and with staff." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "train and certify production supervisors to written procedures and to develop interpersonal skills. "
  • See the full list of manufacturing manager skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a manufacturing manager. We found that 67.0% of manufacturing managers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 12.1% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most manufacturing managers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every eight manufacturing managers were not college graduates.

    The manufacturing managers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and mechanical engineering, while a small population of manufacturing managers studied electrical engineering and industrial engineering.

    When you're ready to become a manufacturing manager, you might wonder which companies hire manufacturing managers. According to our research through manufacturing manager resumes, manufacturing managers are mostly hired by Ernst & Young, System One, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Now is a good time to apply as Ernst & Young has 75 manufacturing managers job openings, and there are 52 at System One and 35 at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

    If you're interested in companies where manufacturing managers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Bain & Company, A.T. Kearney, and Netflix. We found that at Bain & Company, the average manufacturing manager salary is $162,868. Whereas at A.T. Kearney, manufacturing managers earn roughly $162,267. And at Netflix, they make an average salary of $160,548.

    View more details on manufacturing manager salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Merck, General Electric, and Intel. These three companies have hired a significant number of manufacturing managers from these institutions.

    In general, manufacturing managers fulfill roles in the manufacturing and technology industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the manufacturing manager annual salary is the highest in the retail industry with $110,391 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the manufacturing and automotive industries pay $107,800 and $106,525 respectively. This means that manufacturing managers who are employed in the retail industry make 18.4% more than manufacturing managers who work in the finance Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious manufacturing managers are:

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    What General Supervisors Do

    A general supervisor supervises and oversees the daily performance of workers. They are expected to set goals and deadlines for their company. They may also have to organize employees' workflow and ensure that they understand their duties. They also monitor the productivity of employees and give constructive feedback.

    We looked at the average manufacturing manager annual salary and compared it with the average of a general supervisor. Generally speaking, general supervisors receive $23,062 lower pay than manufacturing managers per year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between manufacturing managers and general supervisors are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like continuous improvement, lean manufacturing, and production schedules.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a manufacturing manager responsibilities require skills like "project management," "safety program," "customer service," and "lean six sigma." Meanwhile a typical general supervisor has skills in areas such as "oversight," "safety procedures," "professional work," and "hr." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    General supervisors really shine in the finance industry with an average salary of $105,521. Whereas manufacturing managers tend to make the most money in the retail industry with an average salary of $110,391.

    On average, general supervisors reach similar levels of education than manufacturing managers. General supervisors are 0.6% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Production Administrator?

    Production administrators support all artistic and production functions with expert administrative support to the entire production team. Part of their responsibilities includes maintaining the annual production expenses and production calendar, researching potential venues and maintaining a venue database, and preparing expense reports for artists and production staff. These administrators must be excellent in organization and planning skills, comfortable and flexible with evolving roles, and highly proficient in computer skills such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Office.

    The next role we're going to look at is the production administrator profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $61,769 lower salary than manufacturing managers per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of manufacturing managers and production administrators are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "production schedules," "logistics," and "human resources. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real manufacturing manager resumes. While manufacturing manager responsibilities can utilize skills like "continuous improvement," "lean manufacturing," "production supervisors," and "sigma," some production administrators use skills like "data entry," "purchase orders," "windows," and "payroll."

    On average, production administrators earn a lower salary than manufacturing managers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, production administrators earn the most pay in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $43,182. Whereas, manufacturing managers have higher paychecks in the retail industry where they earn an average of $110,391.

    On the topic of education, production administrators earn lower levels of education than manufacturing managers. In general, they're 7.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Plant Superintendent Compares

    Plant superintendents must have skills in operations, productions, and management. They also need a 4-year degree in business or industrial management. Those who choose this career will be called upon to oversee a plant's manufacturing processes and to recommend improvements to increase productivity. They also enforce all state and federal regulations for plant operations and employee safety.

    The plant superintendent profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of manufacturing managers. The difference in salaries is plant superintendents making $6,563 lower than manufacturing managers.

    Using manufacturing managers and plant superintendents resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "continuous improvement," "lean manufacturing," and "production schedules," but the other skills required are very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from manufacturing manager resumes include skills like "project management," "customer service," "lean six sigma," and "logistics," whereas a plant superintendent might be skilled in "plant safety," "asphalt," "production equipment," and "equipment maintenance. "

    Plant superintendents make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $116,194. Whereas manufacturing managers are paid the highest salary in the retail industry with the average being $110,391.

    Plant superintendents are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to manufacturing managers. Additionally, they're 4.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Continuous Improvement Manager

    A Continuous Improvement Manager initiates and facilitates lean improvement programs and activities. They ensure that progress is maintained on an ongoing basis.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than manufacturing managers. On average, continuous improvement managers earn a difference of $2,068 lower per year.

    While both manufacturing managers and continuous improvement managers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like continuous improvement, lean manufacturing, and sigma, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a manufacturing manager might have more use for skills like "production schedules," "production supervisors," "safety program," and "quality standards." Meanwhile, some continuous improvement managers might include skills like "kaizen events," "lean tools," "dmaic," and "management system" on their resume.

    In general, continuous improvement managers make a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $95,413. The highest manufacturing manager annual salary stems from the retail industry.

    The average resume of continuous improvement managers showed that they earn higher levels of education to manufacturing managers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 6.1% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.4%.

    What a Manufacturing Manager Does FAQs

    How Much Do Manufacturing Managers Make?

    Manufacturing managers make approximately $101,100 per year on a national average. Those just entering the field as manufacturing managers may see entry-level salaries of approximately $67,000 per year. Those who have more experience and are in the top 10% could see salaries as high as $150,000 per year.

    How To Calculate Total Manufacturing Cost

    To calculate total manufacturing cost, you must add the cost categories of direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead.

    Here is the total manufacturing cost in formula form:

    Total Manufacturing Cost = Direct Materials + Direct Labor + Manufacturing Overhead

    Total manufacturing costs relate to the expenses of all resources to develop and create a finished product.

    To get an accurate calculation of your company's total manufacturing costs, you must look at the different departments in your company and identify how they contribute to the manufacturing procedures and processes and the associated costs.

    Here is a quick breakdown of the three main variables in the total manufacturing cost formula:

    • Direct Materials. This refers to the total cost of materials purchased for a given period. You must add this total to the cost of beginning inventory and then take away the cost of ending inventory. This will provide you with an accurate direct materials cost for a given period.

    • Direct Labor. You need to evaluate and calculate all of your direct labor costs used in the manufacturing process for the period. This includes the salaries and wages of your workers, as well as any payroll taxes.

    • Manufacturing Overhead. This cost is determined by combining the costs of all plant and production overhead for a given period. This includes costs like lease fees, rent, mortgages, repairs and maintenance expenses, and any depreciation of your facility or equipment.

    What Is The Difference Between A Production Manager And A Manufacturing Manager?

    The difference between a production manager and a manufacturing manager is that a production manager will look at the process as a whole, from sourcing to shipping; conversely, a manufacturing manager is typically more invested in materials and equipment involved in creating a product.

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