Is becoming an industrial production manager right for me?

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How to become an Industrial Production Manager

Becoming an industrial production manager requires a combination of education, relevant work experience, and developing key skills. Here are the general steps to pursue a career as an industrial production manager:

  • Obtain a bachelor's degree: While a specific degree in industrial management is not always required, obtaining a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as industrial engineering, manufacturing engineering, operations management, or business administration can provide a strong foundation for this career path. Coursework in subjects like production planning, quality control, supply chain management, and operations management can be beneficial.
  • Gain relevant work experience: Building practical experience is crucial in becoming an industrial production manager. Start by seeking entry-level positions in production or manufacturing environments to gain hands-on experience with production processes, quality control procedures, and resource management. Gradually take on roles with increasing responsibilities and leadership opportunities to develop a well-rounded understanding of production operations.
  • Develop technical skills: Industrial production managers need to possess technical skills related to production systems, process optimization, quality control methods, and relevant software tools. Acquire proficiency in tools like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, statistical process control (SPC), and computer-aided design (CAD) software. Stay updated with industry trends and advancements in manufacturing technologies.
  • Acquire managerial skills: As an industrial production manager, strong managerial and leadership skills are essential. Develop skills in areas such as team management, communication, problem-solving, decision-making, and project management. Seek opportunities to lead teams, oversee projects, and demonstrate your ability to coordinate and motivate employees towards common production goals.
  • Consider certification: Although not mandatory, obtaining relevant certifications can enhance your credentials and demonstrate your expertise in industrial production management. Certifications such as Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) from APICS or Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) from SME can be valuable additions to your resume (see below).
  • Continue professional development: The field of industrial production management is continuously evolving, so it is important to stay updated with industry trends, new technologies, and best practices. Attend workshops, seminars, and industry conferences to expand your knowledge and network with professionals in the field.
  • Seek advancement opportunities: With experience and a track record of success, you can pursue managerial positions such as production supervisor, operations manager, or plant manager. Build a strong professional network and explore job opportunities within different industries and organizations that align with your career goals.

There are several certifications available that can enhance the qualifications and credibility of industrial production managers. Here are some notable certifications relevant to this field:

  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM): Offered by APICS (Association for Supply Chain Management), CPIM certification focuses on production and inventory management. It covers topics such as supply chain management, demand planning, materials requirements planning, and production scheduling.
  • Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE): Provided by SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers), CMfgE certification validates expertise in manufacturing engineering principles and practices. It covers areas like process design, production planning, quality control, lean manufacturing, and project management.
  • Six Sigma Certifications: Six Sigma is a methodology aimed at process improvement and reducing defects. Certifications such as Six Sigma Green Belt and Six Sigma Black Belt demonstrate proficiency in statistical analysis, problem-solving techniques, and process optimization.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP): Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the PMP certification is widely recognized and applicable to various industries. It validates project management skills, including planning, execution, monitoring, and control.
  • Lean Six Sigma Certifications: Lean Six Sigma combines lean manufacturing principles with Six Sigma methodologies for process improvement. Certifications like Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt showcase expertise in eliminating waste, improving efficiency, and driving continuous improvement.
  • Certified Quality Engineer (CQE): Provided by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), CQE certification focuses on quality engineering principles and practices. It covers topics such as quality planning, statistical process control, quality audits, and continuous improvement.
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP): Offered by APICS, the CSCP certification emphasizes supply chain management, including areas like demand planning, procurement, supplier relationship management, and logistics.