The efficiency and success of a manufacturing or industrial activity is at least partially measured by the production output. To successfully manufacture or produce a good or product, companies need a dedicated workforce that meshes with its leaders, managers and supervisors. The production supervisor, for example, frequently works in front-line management positions in manufacturing and industrial processes. A production supervisor's responsibilities typically involve developing effective working relationships with a team of employees. This position often requires putting in long hours.
Production Supervisor Roles
Though production supervisor positions are most often seen in manufacturing and industrial environments, any process requiring measurable output can probably use a production supervisor. Production supervisors work at the floor level, working with and among line assembly workers, ensuring they have the resources needed to do their jobs. In most manufacturing and industrial environments, production supervisors are also the link between actual production output and the production plans developed by higher managers. Production supervisors essentially turn higher-level management plans into concrete output activities.
Managing Worker Performance
A major responsibility of a production supervisor is to effectively manage workers' performance. For example, production supervisors are expected to communicate job expectations to the workforce and to plan, monitor and appraise job results. Production supervisors coach employees, counsel them and discipline when necessary. It's also important for production supervisors to understand when to recognize and reward employees for a job well done and to clear obstacles that are hindering their performance.
Managing Production Systems
Production supervisors are responsible for maintaining workflow by monitoring assigned production processes. They must be able to identify and eliminate physical barriers to efficient operation within their assigned area. Good production supervisors understand just how their areas fit with other departments and work to build cooperative efforts within and between them. Additionally, production supervisors must be adept at keeping the production line's equipment properly maintained and operational in order to be successful.
Safety and Budget Responsibilities
When working in manufacturing and industrial environments, production supervisors are key players in maintaining clean and safe working environments. Safety is of vital importance in manufacturing and production supervisors are often responsible for promoting safety awareness to the team. Higher management will also expect production supervisors to be good stewards of company resources. For example, efficiently manage budgetary and personnel requirements, including minimizing overtime, are key parts of the job.
Production Supervisor Salaries and Education Requirements
Production supervisor salaries vary by organization, as do their responsibilities. The Career Bliss website provides actual salaries for production supervisors at many different companies. The three domestic automakers, for example, pay their production supervisors from $62,000 to $67,000 annually. One aerospace industry corporation pays its production supervisors an average of $60,000 annually. Generally, a bachelor's degree is required to be considered for a production supervisor job opening.
- MyMajors: Careers: Assembly Line Supervisor
- TRU Corporation: Production Line Supervisor
- Career Bliss: Ford Motor Production Supervisor Salary
- Career Bliss: General Motors Production Supervisor Salary
- Career Bliss: Chrysler Production Supervisor Salary
- Career Bliss: Eaton Production Supervisor Salary
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.