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Detailed Guide for

   Industrial Production Managers in California

May also be called: Area Plant Managers; General Production Managers; Manufacturing Coordinators; Manufacturing Managers; Plant Managers; Production Control Managers; Production Managers; Production Supervisors

Specialties within this occupation include: Biofuels Production Managers; Biomass Production Managers; Geothermal Production Managers; Hydroelectric Production Managers; Methane/Landfill Gas Collection System Operators

What Would I Do?

Industrial Production Managers plan, direct, and coordinate the production activities necessary to manufacture a variety of goods in a diverse mix of industries. They ensure that production meets output and quality goals within company budget constraints. An Industrial Production Manager may oversee an entire small factory or just one area of a larger plant. They formulate methods to utilize the factory’s workforce and capital resources to best meet production goals. They may determine the machinery to be used, whether new machines need to be purchased, whether extra work hours are necessary, and what the production sequence will be. They monitor the production run to make sure that it stays on schedule, and they correct any problems that may arise.

Tools and Technology

During the course of their work, Production Managers may resort to the use of vernier calipers, taper gauges, t-squares, assorted other measuring tools, forklifts, automated production equipment, and environmentally friendly chemicals. They also may make use of various computer software for management purposes and process analysis, such as facilities management, human resources, industrial control, inventory management, and project management software as well as energy usage and environmental impact monitoring software.

Green Economy

The green, sustainable production methods will be the goal of many industries for the foreseeable future. The need for production processes that conserve energy and natural resources as well as are nonpolluting and economically safe for employees, communities, and consumers will become more apparent in the coming years.

Sustainable, green production involves four basic strategies: 1) methods of growing, harvesting, or extracting new raw materials in such a way that energy is conserved and few or no harsh/artificial chemicals are involved in the process; 2) methods of reusing materials to keep waste at a minimum and to save energy; 3) techniques for avoiding high-energy or chemicals-intensive processes; and 4) schemes for cycling production wastes back into the production process or into secondary uses. Some Managers specializing in the green sector of industry production are described below.

Geothermal Production Managers supervise operations at geothermal power generation facilities and maintain and monitor geothermal plant equipment for efficient and safe plant operations. Biofuels Production Managers oversee operations at biofuels power generation facilities, collect and process information on plant performance, diagnose problems, and design corrective procedures. Biomass Production Managers direct operations at biomass power generation facilities and manage work activities at the plant, including supervision of operations and maintenance staff.

Methane/Landfill Gas Collection System Operators oversee daily operations and maintenance or the repair of landfill gas projects, including maintenance of daily logs, determination of service priorities, and compliance with reporting requirements. Hydroelectric Production Managers supervise operations at hydroelectric power generation facilities and maintain and monitor hydroelectric plant equipment for efficient and safe plant operations.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

While the different, specialized Industrial Production Managers have various tasks and duties that are particular to the green industry in which they work, they generally have the same typical tasks, and those tasks which do differ specifically are generally like or comparable to the duties and activities shared by all. Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Direct and coordinate production, processing, distribution, and marketing activities of industrial organization.Production and Processing
Review processing schedules and production orders to make decisions concerning inventory requirements, staffing requirements, work procedures, and duty assignments, considering budgetary limitations and time constraints.Administration and Management
Review operations and confer with technical or administrative staff to resolve production or processing problems.Problem Sensitivity
Develop and implement production tracking and quality control systems, analyzing production, quality control, maintenance, and other operational reports, to detect production problems.Critical Thinking
Hire, train, evaluate, and discharge staff, and resolve personnel grievances.Management of Personnel Resources
Set and monitor product standards, examining samples of raw products or directing testing during processing, to ensure finished products are of prescribed quality.Monitoring
Review operations performance specifications to ensure compliance with regulatory and environmental requirements.Written Comprehension
Prepare and maintain production reports and personnel records.Written Expression
Coordinate and recommend procedures for facility and equipment maintenance or modification, including the replacement of machines.Mechanical
Initiate and coordinate inventory and cost control programs.Coordination
Institute employee suggestion or involvement programs.Active Listening
Maintain current knowledge of the quality control field, relying on current literature pertaining to materials use, technological advances, and statistical studies.Active Learning
Review plans and confer with research and support staff to develop new products and processes.Inductive Reasoning
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Industrial Production Managers generally work in comfortable and air conditioned offices. Time spent in their offices, which often are located near production areas, is usually taken up in meetings with subordinates or other department managers, analyzing production data, and writing and reviewing reports. They typically divide work time between their offices and production areas, which, depending on the industry and machinery involved, are potentially hazardous. Because of potential hazards, Production Managers must adhere to established health and safety practices and wear the required protective clothing and equipment.

Many Industrial Production Managers work more than 40 hours per week, in order to meet production deadlines. About a third of these workers average more than 50 hours a week. In 24-hour plants, Production Managers often work late shifts and are on call to deal with emergencies. Dealing with production workers as well as superiors, when working under the pressure of production goals and deadlines, can be stressful. Corporate downsizing has, in many cases, eliminated levels of management and support staff, shifting more responsibilities to Production Managers and increasing stress.

Being a management position, the job of Production Manager is typically not unionized.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Industrial Production Managers may appeal to those who enjoy activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions and working with tools and machinery. The job may also appeal to those who enjoy searching for facts and figuring out problems.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?


The median wage in 2020 for Industrial Production Managers in California is $114,377 annually, or $54.99 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


Benefits for Industrial Production Managers tend to be similar to benefits offered to those in other managerial positions in the manufacturing industry—stock options, dividends, and other performance bonuses, vacation and sick leave, health and life insurance, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

The total number of employed Industrial Production Managers is expected to increase during the 10-year projections period. Some openings will be due to the need to replace workers who leave the occupation for various reasons. The outlook is brightest for those job applicants with a master's degree in business administration (MBA) or an undergraduate engineering degree. Employers will be looking for those who have expert communication skills and who are personable and eager to further their professional education.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Industrial Production Managers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Industrial Production Managers are expected to increase by 4.1 percent, or 800 jobs between 2016 and 2026.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Industrial Production Managers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

Due to the diverse nature of manufacturing operations and job requirements, there is no standard preparation for Industrial Production Managers. Many successful job candidates have a college degree in business administration or industrial engineering. Others have an MBA. Although many employers prefer candidates who have a degree in business or engineering, some companies hire graduates from other fields who are willing to spend time in a production-related position.

As production operations become more sophisticated, more and more employers seek candidates with MBA’s. This, together with an undergraduate degree in engineering, is considered very good preparation. Companies are also placing more importance on a candidate’s personality. Because the job demands technical knowledge and the ability to compromise, persuade, and negotiate, successful Production Managers must be well rounded and have excellent communication skills.


Some Production Managers are former production line supervisors promoted into their positions. They make very good candidates for promotion as they have gained a close knowledge and experience of the production process and the firm’s organization. To be considered for promotion, these workers will have demonstrated leadership qualities and often take company-sponsored courses in management and communications skills. Some companies hire college graduates as production line supervisors and then promote them to Industrial Production Managers.

Early Career Planning

The high school courses recommended for this field include general business classes and business club membership; English; speech communication classes; courses in physical, social, and computer sciences; and math.

Continuing Education

To be effective in their jobs, Industrial Production Managers must keep up with new production technologies and management practices, especially if working in green industries. To do this, they join professional organizations and go to trade shows where new equipment is displayed. They also attend industry conferences and other professional gatherings where new production methods and technological advances are discussed. The primary method of green training is on the job, but other methods include online courses, conferences, and seminars.


A certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), is offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS), and it requires passing a series of exams that cover supply chain management, resource planning, scheduling, production operations, and strategic planning. Those certified must complete a set number of professional development activities every three years to maintain their certification.

The American Society for Quality offers the Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) credential. This certification is open to managers who pass an exam and who have at least 10 years of experience or education, five of which must be in a decision-making position. This certificate is intended for managers who lead process improvement initiatives. To maintain certification, workers must complete a set number of professional development units every three years.

The Institute of Certified Professional Managers offers a general management certification. The Certified Manager (CM) program consists of three course modules: Foundations of Management, Planning and Organizing, and Leading and Controlling. Each includes a study manual, online learning resources, practice exams and a certification exam. The CM certification is earned by passing all three certification exams.

Two other useful certifications are available for Production Managers working in green manufacturing: Lean Certification and Green Manufacturing Specialist Certification. The first is primarily concerned with reducing costs of the production process, but also decreasing waste produced. The second, Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate, is offered through the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and includes multiple topics on sustainability as well as air, water, energy, chemical, and solid waste management.

For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

  • Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Industrial Production Manager, Industrial Production Supervisor, Production Manager, Production Supervisor
  • Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Industrial Production Managers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing10.3%
Chemical Manufacturing6.8%
Machinery Manufacturing5.9%
Semiconductor and Electronic Components5.6%
Scientific Research and Development Svc5.2%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains the most effective form of job search methods for Industrial Production Managers. Applicants look for jobs in the industry where they have knowledge or interest, such as biofuel production or hydroelectrical production. Some find work through industry organizations or with professional organizations, such as the Association for Operations Management. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader). Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Industrial Production Managers.

  • Energy Conservation Products & Services Wholesale & Manufacturers
  • Energy Management Systems & Products
  • Factory Labor Employment Agencies
  • Fuels Wholesale & Manufacturers
  • Gas Recycling Plants
  • Geothermal Drilling & Exploration
  • Manufacturing Engineers
  • Manufacturing Production
  • Recycled Products
  • Recycling Equipment Manufacturers

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Industrial Production Managers with a record of excellent work performance may promote to plant manager or vice president of manufacturing. Other Production Managers transfer to jobs with more responsibilities with bigger, higher-paying companies. Production Managers may also have career opportunities to become consultants.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Industrial Production Managers with links to more information.

Construction ManagersGuide
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating WorkersProfile
General and Operations ManagersGuide
Sales ManagersGuide
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution ManagersProfile

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification11-3051
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Industrial Production Managers11-3051.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECS
   Quality Control Systems Managers11-3051.01
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECR
   Geothermal Production Managers11-3051.02
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECR
   Biofuels Production Managers11-3051.03
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECR
   Biomass Power Plant Managers11-3051.04
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECR
   Methane/Landfill Gas Collection System Operators11-3051.05
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CER
   Hydroelectric Production Managers11-3051.06
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECR
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Business/Commerce, General 520101
   Business Administration and Management, General 520201
   Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management.520203
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Business and Commerce, General050100
   Business Administration050500
   Business Management050600
   Logistics and Materials Transportation051000