In general, plant managers are responsible for the entire operations in a manufacturing plant. Plant managers plan, direct, organize, and run the optimum operations of the plant daily. They create and execute organizational or departmental goals procedures, and policies. They aim to increase the manufacturing production and the capacity and flexibility of its assets while keeping its current quality standards and unnecessary costs. They are expected to have a better understanding of the manufacturing industry like equipment use and mechanical aptitude.

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Plant Manager Responsibilities

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

  • Manage 65 plant production and five plant supervisors in bilingual union manufacturing HVAC plant.
  • Manage compliance and training for the facility HACCP plan and are awarded PICQS plus status on annual audit.
  • Lead skilled trades in the repair and maintenance of robotics, PLC, hydraulic and electrical switchgear applications.
  • Lead OEE & SMED initiatives to improve machine utilization, up-time, throughput, change-over time, & yield.
  • Manage daily operations of USDA facility.
  • Coordinate monthly safety meetings, provide training and lead internal inspections that foster OSHA awareness.
  • Utilize Kaizen principles to realize immediate benefits and set foundation for a continuous improvement environment.
  • Support and drive the implementation of TPM.
  • Implement TPM program and process for maintenance technicians.
  • Set up, operate and maintain a high speed asphalt manufacturing plant.
  • Improve plant efficiency and increase plant capacity with the new DCS controls.
  • Produce materials including asphalt, base course, chip and seal and concrete rock.
  • Repair PLC controls, perform multi-axis CNC robotics systems troubleshooting & repair, etc.
  • Assist other teams in the plant's lean sigma deck totaling $750k each year.
  • Prepare and maintain a wide range of administrative records for EOC, JACHO andOSHA compliance.

Plant Manager Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, plant manager jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a plant manager?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of plant manager opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 150,600.

A plant manager annual salary averages $113,843, which breaks down to $54.73 an hour. However, plant managers can earn anywhere from upwards of $85,000 to $152,000 a year. This means that the top-earning plant managers make $66,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a plant manager, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a general manager of operations, continuous improvement manager, manager/partner, and process improvement manager.

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Plant Manager Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 8% of Plant Managers are proficient in Continuous Improvement, Customer Service, and Safety Program. They’re also known for soft skills such as Management skills, Leadership skills, and Problem-solving skills.

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

  • Continuous Improvement, 8%

    Lead continuous improvement efforts based on evaluation of value chain, quality management system data, strategic initiatives and operational metrics.

  • Customer Service, 7%

    Total involvement with all aspects of customer service including: customer complaints, corrective action reports/preventive action reports and scheduling departments.

  • Safety Program, 6%

    Prepared site for Volunteer Protection Program and Occupational Safety and Health Administration five-star application with aggressive Environmental Health and Safety Program.

  • Plant Operations, 6%

    Coached and mentored 2 new managers in plant operations resulting in streamlined operations, reduced operating costs and increased equipment/process reliability.

  • Lean Manufacturing, 6%

    Champion continuous process improvement that identifies quality, safety, production capacity and performance through collaborative initiatives using lean manufacturing techniques.

  • OSHA, 5%

    Delivered 68% reduction in OSHA fines through identification of problem areas and implementation of previously non-existent safety measures and procedures.

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Most plant managers list "continuous improvement," "customer service," and "safety program" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important plant manager responsibilities here:

  • The most important skills for a plant manager to have in this position are management skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a plant manager resume, you'll understand why: "top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization" According to resumes we found, management skills can be used by a plant manager in order to "acquired knowledge of fda regulations for food management and enforced the company guidelines to comply with such regulations. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling plant manager duties is leadership skills. According to a plant manager resume, "top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources." Here's an example of how plant managers are able to utilize leadership skills: "provided leadership and played a key role in the successful implementation of a new erp program for the charlotte facility. "
  • Plant managers are also known for problem-solving skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a plant manager resume: "top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "supervised quality and manufacturing improvement, safety issues and resolution, environmental compliance and product development. "
  • A plant manager responsibilities sometimes require "time-management skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals." This resume example shows how this skill is used by plant managers: "lead sap erp implementation successfully meeting all project milestones on time and without negatively impacting any quarterly financial results. "
  • Yet another important skill that a plant manager must demonstrate is "communication skills." Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a plant manager who stated: "focused on training and communication to give employees the necessary tools to ensure the highest quality standards were achieved. "
  • See the full list of plant manager skills.

    We've found that 63.0% of plant managers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 10.9% earned their master's degrees before becoming a plant manager. While it's true that most plant managers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every seven plant managers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those plant managers who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a mechanical engineering degree. Less commonly earned degrees for plant managers include a management degree or a industrial engineering degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a plant manager. We've found that most plant manager resumes include experience from GPAC, Oldcastle Infrastructure, and Parker Hannifin. Of recent, GPAC had 78 positions open for plant managers. Meanwhile, there are 26 job openings at Oldcastle Infrastructure and 18 at Parker Hannifin.

    If you're interested in companies where plant managers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Koch Industries, Koppers, and Pacifi. We found that at Koch Industries, the average plant manager salary is $137,785. Whereas at Koppers, plant managers earn roughly $137,248. And at Pacifi, they make an average salary of $134,015.

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

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a plant manager include General Electric, Johnson Controls, and Intel. These three companies were found to hire the most plant managers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    For the most part, plant managers make their living in the manufacturing and construction industries. Plant managers tend to make the most in the finance industry with an average salary of $102,077. The plant manager annual salary in the automotive and manufacturing industries generally make $101,177 and $97,672 respectively. Additionally, plant managers who work in the finance industry make 10.6% more than plant managers in the retail Industry.

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

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    What General Manager Of Operationss Do

    General managers of operations are employed to oversee the overall operations of businesses. Their responsibilities include the improvement of the efficiency of the operations and overall management. They coordinate the primary performance goals for direct reporting functions and set the strategies for the organization. It is their responsibility to communicate strategy as well as results to employees. They also engage with the corporate officers in the strategic planning and development of the organization or enterprise.

    We looked at the average plant manager annual salary and compared it with the average of a general manager of operations. Generally speaking, general managers of operations receive $24,321 lower pay than plant managers per year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between plant managers and general managers of operations are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like continuous improvement, customer service, and human resources.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A plant manager responsibility is more likely to require skills like "safety program," "plant operations," "lean manufacturing," and "osha." Whereas a general manager of operations requires skills like "develop team," "financial statements," "payroll," and "oversight." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    The education levels that general managers of operations earn is a bit different than that of plant managers. In particular, general managers of operations are 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a plant manager. Additionally, they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties 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.

    Next up, we have the continuous improvement manager profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a plant manager annual salary. In fact, continuous improvement managers salary difference is $14,199 lower than the salary of plant managers per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Plant managers and continuous improvement managers both include similar skills like "continuous improvement," "customer service," and "lean manufacturing" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real plant manager resumes. While plant manager responsibilities can utilize skills like "safety program," "plant operations," "production facility," and "human resources," some continuous improvement managers use skills like "lean six sigma," "project management," "kaizen events," and "lean tools."

    On average, continuous improvement managers earn a lower salary than plant managers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, continuous improvement managers earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $95,413. Whereas, plant managers have higher paychecks in the finance industry where they earn an average of $102,077.

    In general, continuous improvement managers study at higher levels of education than plant managers. They're 7.3% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Manager/Partner Compares

    A manager/partner or managing partner is a professional who manages the daily activities of a company as well as guides its overall strategic business direction. Managing partners must cooperate with other executives, board members, and employees to implement organizational goals, procedures, and policies. They are responsible for the hiring and managing of employees and should follow the executive committee guidelines and federal and state laws and regulations. Managing partners must also maintain positive client relationships and lead the drive for new business acquisitions.

    The manager/partner profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of plant managers. The difference in salaries is managers/partner making $18,461 lower than plant managers.

    Using plant managers and managers/partner resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "customer service," "human resources," and "customer satisfaction," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a plant manager is likely to be skilled in "continuous improvement," "safety program," "plant operations," and "lean manufacturing," while a typical manager/partner is skilled in "business development," "project management," "client facing," and "account management."

    When it comes to education, managers/partner tend to earn similar education levels than plant managers. In fact, they're 2.2% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 1.7% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Process Improvement Manager

    Process Improvement Managers oversee the operational processes of the company. These processes are usually related to production, sales, marketing, human resources, or finance. Process Improvement Managers are in charge of creating policies and procedures to guide the company's different departments. They analyze related data and craft recommendations to improve the procedures. They ensure that their recommendations lead to higher efficiency. Process Improvement Managers also ensure that these new processes are implemented properly and yield results.

    Process improvement managers tend to earn a lower pay than plant managers by about $8,389 per year.

    According to resumes from both plant managers and process improvement managers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "continuous improvement," "lean manufacturing," and "product quality. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a plant manager might have more use for skills like "customer service," "safety program," "plant operations," and "osha." Meanwhile, some process improvement managers might include skills like "lean six sigma," "project management," "dmaic," and "management process" on their resume.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The technology industry tends to pay more for process improvement managers with an average of $99,802. While the highest plant manager annual salary comes from the finance industry.

    In general, process improvement managers reach higher levels of education when compared to plant managers resumes. Process improvement managers are 7.0% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Plant Manager Does FAQs

    How Much Do Plant Managers Make A Year?

    Plant managers make, on average, $99,000 a year. There is, however, considerable range in how much a plant manager can make - starting from as little as $68,000 a year to as much as $139,000 a year. Factors such as the location, industry, and plant type impact where a plant manager will fall along that pay scale.

    What Is An Industry Plant?

    An industry plant is a factory, manufacturing space, or industry-specific facility that is often a complex consisting of one or several buildings housing machinery. Industry plants often employ teams of workers to perform specific duties within them.

    Workers in industry plants might help to manufacture items or operate machines that process individual items into other individual item. These may consist of assembly lines or automated assembly services, where robotics and computers play a major role.

    Industry plants can be found in many different areas, such as water, technology, chemical, or a host of others. They are typically run by plant managers who oversee different departments within the industrial plant.

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