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Production manager (manufacturing)

Alternative titles for this job include Operations manager

Production managers make sure manufacturing processes run smoothly and cost-effectively, and deliver products on time.

Average salary (a year)

£24,000 Starter


£65,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Production manager (manufacturing)

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in manufacturing. Some employers may look for a degree of relevance to their particular industry, for example:

  • automotive or aerospace engineering
  • food production
  • pharmaceuticals
  • chemical engineering
  • materials engineering

It's important to gain relevant industry experience during your degree. This could be through:

  • vacation placements
  • internships
  • year in industry schemes

With a degree you can apply to manufacturing or production graduate management schemes.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


The apprenticeship route you take will depend on the sector you want to work in. The following higher and degree apprenticeships may help you to get into this role:

  • process leader higher apprenticeship
  • manufacturing management degree apprenticeship
  • food and drink advanced production engineer apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start as an engineering technician or quality control officer in a manufacturing company. You could then become a team leader and shift supervisor before moving into production management through training and promotion.

Direct Application

You could apply for a place on a management training scheme with a manufacturing company. They usually ask for a degree but you may be able to start without university qualifications if you can show you've enough relevant industry experience.

More Information

Career tips

A knowledge of production methods and quality standards, for example ISO9000, will be helpful.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a production manager, you'll:

  • draw up production plans and set quality standards
  • monitor production schedules and adjust them if problems occur
  • manage the production team
  • work with suppliers to get parts and raw materials
  • make sure performance targets are met and waste is kept to a minimum
  • oversee the training and development of staff
  • write reports for senior managers and customers

Working environment

You could work in an office or in a factory.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into overall factory management, or strategic planning roles at regional or national level in a larger company.

If you work for a national or international company, you may have the opportunity to work overseas.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Production manager (manufacturing) right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England


  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: HARTLEPOOL

HNC Manufacturing Operations

  • Provider: YEOVIL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 17 September 2024
  • Location: Yeovil

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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