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What Are the Job Duties of a Production Supervisor?

by Tony Guerra

It takes many kinds of employees to make a successful industrial or manufacturing company work efficiently. From the line assembly employee to the plant or factory manager, every employee in an industrial or manufacturing-type company has a vital role to play. A production supervisor, for example, is the face of the leadership team most seen by a manufacturing company's rank-and-file employees. Production supervisors have many responsibilities, and they're generally held responsible for meeting company production goals for their areas of responsibility.

Production Supervisor Role

Production supervisors are line or operations managers, meaning they frequently have a hands-on leadership role in their companies' product-making activities. Broadly, production supervisors come under industrial production manager occupational categories. Production supervisors are most commonly seen in companies such as automakers, commercial bakeries and any company turning out mass-produced goods on schedule. Manufacturing company employees frequently turn to their production supervisors for direction and answers to their questions about their assigned duties.

Production Supervisor Duties

Depending on the particular company, a production supervisor may plan, direct or coordinate work activities and obtain resources necessary for production success. In other words, production supervisors must be able to ensure their assigned assembly functions deliver products that meet all company cost, quality and quantity requirements. As a production supervisor, you review processing schedules and production orders and make decisions regarding resources needed to meet those schedules or orders. Production supervisors are also responsible for meeting company budget goals.

Human Resources Management

Because they're line managers, production supervisors work closely and as a team with the rank-and-file employees assigned to them. Some production supervisors are even responsible for hiring, training, evaluating and terminating employees. A production supervisor must be especially skilled at resolving day to day personnel grievances that can arise among the employees from time to time. If you're a production supervisor you must be able to correctly staff your production areas and keep the employees in those areas working efficiently.

Pay and Education

A production supervisor's pay varies from company to company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that industrial production managers earned median salaries of $87,160 annually in 2010. Employment growth for production supervisors is expected to be 9 percent through 2020, which compares to an average growth rate of 14 percent for all U.S. jobs over the same time. The Career Bliss jobs website lists production supervisor salaries, with one automaker paying supervisors about $65,000 annually. Education-wise, most companies want production supervisors to have at least a bachelor's degree and two to five years of experience.

About the Author

Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Photo Credits

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