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Do you want to be a supervisor in the manufacturing industry? This job typically offers a good salary, but with great pay comes great responsibility. Supervisor jobs in manufacturing industries can go by many titles, including: Plant Supervisor, Manufacturing Supervisor, Production Supervisor and Shift Supervisor. While the role is going to be slightly different depending on what type of manufacturing industry you are in and what company you work with, no matter where you go, you’ll need great leadership as well as business and technical skills to be successful in this role. A supervisor has an important job in any manufacturing facility. Plants can’t run smoothly without a good supervisor. 

  1. What is a manufacturing supervisor’s salary? 

Supervisors have pretty great pay in the manufacturing industry. A manufacturing supervisor can expect to make between $40,000 to $70,000 per year. That’s an hourly range of $19.00 to $33.70. Depending on your skillset, experience, industry, location and the company you work for, supervisors in the manufacturing industry could make even more money — up to $90,000 or even $100,000! Just remember, a lot of responsibility comes along with this paycheck. 

2. What is the job description of a plant supervisor? 

A typical job description for a plant supervisor may sound something like this: 

Directs the development and implementation of activities in production area(s) to meet production goals, quality, and cost objectives under the direction of the Plant Manager. The Supervisor will follow all established procedures and policies to oversee the production department and floor activities as well as ensure production is running smoothly, and ensure processes are properly documented. In addition, the Manufacturing Supervisor will assist with policy development, hiring, employee orientation, hiring, training and evaluations. 

3. What should a manufacturing supervisor include on their resume? 

You’ll want to rely on your experience for your resume. Check out these great resume examples, and think about how you will do the following: 

  • Highlight your past experience. Having experiences that are similar to the job description you are applying for will go a long way in finding a Manufacturing Supervisor job. 
  • What were the main responsibilities in your previous roles? Give a brief description of these things. If you’ve been a manufacturing supervisor before, highlight your biggest accomplishments. 
  • Highlight your education: Having an engineering bachelor’s or associate’s degree is a huge advantage. Even having taken some related classes is a plus for this position, so highlight any relevant education. If you don’t have a higher education degree, it’s not a bad idea to mention you have a high school diploma or GED, as this is still a requirement for many companies. 
  • Have you created any processes in a manufacturing environment? Mention any processes you created and what the results were in a sentence. 

4. What kind of interview process do manufacturing supervisors go through? 

Manufacturing supervisors have a fairly traditional interview process. You will most likely have to do an in-person interview. Other steps in the hiring process will be company and industry-specific. 

  • Expect to be asked questions about your leadership experience, beliefs and philosophy.
  • HR questions: How would you handle an employee who was having performance issues? How do you plan to develop the skills of those in the plant working with you? 
  • Questions about common scenarios that may come up in the plant. For instance, what would you do if you found a bad batch of parts just came in? 
  • General questions about your experience, interests, 

Since most Manufacturing Supervisor positions require experience, just rely on your past experiences when answering questions and be honest. Don’t be afraid to self-promote your best qualities, but don’t exaggerate your abilities.

5. Are there any training courses manufacturing supervisors need to take to get the job? 

Education is pretty important for Manufacturing Supervisors. Many companies are looking for supervisors with an engineering bachelor’s degree or another related bachelor’s degree. Many companies will also accept an associate’s degree in a related subject. Don’t give up if you don’t have a related bachelor’s degree, though. Many companies will still consider you for the position if you have taken some related courses and/or have an unfinished degree that is paired with years of experience working in manufacturing leadership. Again, experience goes a long way, so even if you just have a degree, years of experience may allow you to get this job. If you don’t have experience but still want to be a plant supervisor, the best way to get started is by getting a job at a plant and working your way up. Be open with your manager about your desire to learn more and be promoted. Always be learning, both at work and on your own time, and make yourself available for extra work and projects so you can prove you’re ready for the new step in your career. 

6. What kind of skills do you need to become a manufacturing supervisor? 

You’ll need skills in the following areas: 

  • General business skills
  • Ability to self-direct at work
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Several years of machinery experience
  • Previous supervisory or leadership experience
  • Ability to quickly learn production operations and machinery
  • Physical fitness, including the ability to stand for long periods of time and lift 50 pounds

7. What jobs are similar to manufacturing supervisor positions? 

As mentioned before, supervisory roles in a manufacturing business can be called by a number of titles, including: Plant supervisor, manufacturing supervisor, production supervisor, shift supervisor. All of these roles will most likely require you to perform similar roles as leader and business specialist with technical and HR skills. 

Larger companies often have Supervisor Assistant jobs for the Supervisor. If you want to become a Shift Supervisor, this role is a great opportunity to step into and gain experience. Likewise, a step above a Shift Supervisor is Shift Manager. This role will give you more authority over the plant’s decision-making processes. 

8. How can you become a manufacturing supervisor? 

There are two key pathways to becoming a manufacturing supervisor. You’ll want experience in a manufacturing industry. Master your current manufacturing job and get as much experience as you can so you understand manufacturing processes and procedures on a deep level. You’ll also want to hone your leadership skills. The second thing is having an education, which will be helpful for any leadership role in manufacturing. Getting a bachelor’s degree, or even an associate’s degree, in a field like industrial engineering will give you a huge advantage. Even with a great degree, experience will still be your best friend.

9. What types of industries do manufacturing supervisors work in? 

A manufacturing supervisor could work for a wide range of manufacturing industries, including food production, automotive production or really any plant that produces things. Factories can make anything from cell phones to airplanes, so the sky is really the limit in the manufacturing field. 

10. What does it take to be a good manufacturing supervisor? 

You’ll need a deep technical understanding of manufacturing processes for your industry, whether it’s automotive manufacturing, food processing or something else. You’ll also want great leadership skills and the ability to communicate and work well with others. Finally, you’ll want a mind for business so you can help production go up, costs go down, and the plant to run smoothly. Obviously, these are a lot of skills involved in this job that can’t be acquired overnight, but with patience, hard work and experience, you can make your dream come true as a manufacturing supervisor.