Production manager job description

Production managers direct the manufacturing process of products in factories, to ensure that high volumes of quality products are created within strict timelines and budgets.

They are also responsible for the health and safety of all staff under their management on the production line.

The role involves planning, monitoring and controlling the means of production to deliver products profitably and efficiently

This comprehensive guide includes a full production manager job description and everything else you need to know about the role, including salaries, qualifications, benefits and more.


Guide contents

  • Production manager job description
  • How much do production managers earn?
  • What does a production manager do?
  • Requirements, skills and qualifications
  • Who employs production managers?
  • Which junior jobs progress to production manager roles?



Production manager job description

Production manager |Fresh Food To You


About Fresh Food To You  

We are a leading food brand based in Glasgow, creating pre-prepared meals that can be purchased in the supermarket and enjoyed at home. Our extensive range of dishes has won awards and we cater for a variety of diets including vegan and gluten-free.


About the role

We are looking for a production manager to manage the delivery of our premium product meal range, and meet the high-quality standards expected by our customers, within expected budget and time frames.



  • Planning and organising production schedules to ensure orders are delivered on time
  • Managing a team of staff including production supervisors and quality inspectors, as well as staff rotas and performance management
  • Ensuring all products meet established quality standards with rigorous checks
  • Allocating resources across workflows to ensure minimum wastage and strengthen profit margins
  • Offering suggestions for efficiency improvements as part of the overall business strategy
  • Enforcing all health and safety regulations and training staff when necessary
  • Overseeing the selection and maintenance of production equipment
  • Providing regular updates on key milestones and reports for senior management and clients


Location & commitments

  • Permanent, full-time position
  • Based just outside Glasgow city centre
  • Some travel required when meeting with suppliers or clients


Candidate requirements

  • Proven experience working as a production manager within the food sector
  • Understanding of quality standards and health & safety regulations
  • Experience managing teams, including onboarding, training and performance management
  • Experience using ERP software, project management tools and MS Office
  • Excellent analytical skills and commercial acumen


Contact us to apply

If you’d like to join our team and support our vision of providing fresh, healthy meals to busy people, send your CV and cover letter to Peter Bates at


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How much do production managers earn?

Production managers are normally well paid with an average salary of £37,500 with the potential to earn significantly more with career progression.


Production manager salaries in the UK

  • Low: £28,750
  • Average: £37,500
  • High: £42,500

Source: Totaljobs


Production manager salaries will vary depending on;

  • Product being produced – e.g. Is the factory producing snacks, computers, clothing etc.?
  • Size of production line – e.g. Is the manager responsible for producing hundreds of products per week, or thousands?
  • General salary factors – such as level of experience and location of the work

For example, a production manager leading a production line of 100,000 complex computers per month, will command a higher salary than another who is overseeing the production of 5,000 basic t-shirts per month.

Bear in mind that these are average figures taken from job advert samples, and they do not include extra benefits such as bonuses, overtime and non-financial benefits such as healthcare.


What does a production manager do?

Breaking down the job description jargon, here are the typical tasks and responsibilities that production managers will carry out in an average work week;

  • Planning schedules – Drawing up production schedules including preparing orders, estimating timescales and allocating resources.
  • Monitoring schedules – Overseeing production schedules and ensuring products will be delivered on time.
  • People management – Supervising a team of workers including creating their shift rosters and ensuring personal targets are met.
  • Budget management – Estimating and agreeing budgets with clients and managers, then making sure production is delivered within that fixed cost.
  • Optimising production – Reviewing production levels and implementing changes that will boost efficiency, safety or profitability
  • Reporting – Collating and analysing data, then creating production reports for factory managers and clients.
  • Health and safety – Creating a safe workplace where health and safety regulations are adhered to.
  • Selecting and monitoring equipment – Checking all production equipment is routinely maintained and repaired when required.



What do production managers need?

candidate requirements

Production managers require a range of skills, experience and knowledge to deliver their roles.

Specific requirements will often depend on the industry and products being produced, as well as the seniority of the role. In general, here’s what’s needed to fulfil the role of a production manager.



Junior PM jobs will require candidates to demonstrate an understanding of production processes and knowledge of quality standards as well as health and safety. They will most likely have stepped up from a production supervisor role.

Intermediate to senior PM roles will generally require candidates to have overseen complex production processes. They may also have gained significant experience in a particular sector, such as electronics or automotive.


Production manager skills

The following is a list of skills that are essential to successfully deliver the role of a production manager.

  • Project management: Ensuring production schedules are implemented on time and to budget
  • Communication: Written and verbal communication with staff, clients and external providers
  • Leadership: Motivating and inspiring team members to work together to achieve personal and production goals
  • Multi-tasking: Being able to work across a number of different production processes at once
  • Performance management: Driving individual and team performance against KPIs, and coaching under-performing staff
  • Problem solving: Dealing with unexpected project issues to reduce or eliminate their effect on the success of the project

And the more industry specific hard skills include;

  • Production process: Solid understanding of the manufacturing process, planning and optimisation
  • Industry knowledge: Knowledge of manufacturing production and processes within their field; e.g. automotive, retail, food etc.
  • Machinery knowledge: Ability to operate, repair and maintain production machinery


Production manager qualifications

Formal qualifications are not mandatory to get a job as a production manager, with the chance to start a career as a trainee or apprentice.

However, there are professional qualifications that can help upskill candidates already working in the industry or help those who want to move into production management.


Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Certificates

CILT offers a number of different certificates, from the Level 3 Certificate in Operations Management which is an introduction to production and operations management, to the Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Operations Management, aimed at more senior managers.


Institute of Operations Management (IOM) Certificates

IOM has a Level 3 Certificate in Operations Management which is delivered through distance learning. There are three compulsory units including Business for Operations Managers, Improvement Techniques for Operations Management and Demand and Supply Chain Management.


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Sector-specific qualifications

Some employers will also seek industry-specific training and qualifications, for example a job in the food industry may require a degree in food science or chemistry.


What is expected of production managers?

Typically, production manager will be expected to commit to the following;

  • Full time hours – (35 – 40 hours per week) with occasional overtime required when production deadlines are nearing
  • Unsocial hours – including shift work and the need to be on call for dealing with emergencies
  • Location – Generally based on production site with occasional travel to head office or other company buildings



Production manager benefits

Production managers can expect to receive benefits including:

  • Bonuses – based on project performance
  • Pension
  • Healthcare
  • Car allowance
  • Corporate discounts


Who employs production managers?


Most large manufacturing and processing organisations will employ a production manager to ensure their products are delivered efficiently and to a high quality.

In smaller companies, the duties of a production manager may be combined with another function.

Typical production manager employers include companies within:

  • Food processing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Aerospace and defence
  • Electronics
  • Automobile
  • Chemical engineering
  • Printing
  • Textiles


Which junior jobs progress to production manager roles?

Stepping stone jobs

In order to progress to the level of production manager, candidates will need to have gained experience in roles overseeing production processes or quality control. These roles include:


Production supervisor

A production supervisor oversees a small section of the delivery of a production process, and monitors the established work flow – the natural promotion is to take over the management of the entire process by becoming the production manager.

Material planner

A material planner coordinates and supplies raw materials and resources within a manufacturing process, as well as managing inventory and stock levels.


Which senior jobs do production managers progress to?

Production managers are in a good position to progress to general management positions or specialise in a specific sector. Career opportunities include:


Operations manager

The operations manager is responsible for the operational day-to-day running of the business including overseeing different departments such as manufacturing, purchasing and warehousing.

General manager

General managers are responsible for establishing and achieving business goals such as area sales targets and staff performance.


Production manager job description – conclusion

Production manager is a varied and highly skilled role that offers opportunities to gain experience across a range of sectors or specialise in one area.

Not only does it offer a good salary now, but it is a springboard to general management positions in the future.