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Industrial Production

Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $123,010.

Facts at a glance

  • While there is no standard preparation, a college degree is helpful.
  • Applicants with a college degree in industrial engineering, management, or business administration, and particularly those with an undergraduate engineering degree and a master’s degree in business administration or industrial management, enjoy the best job prospects.  
  • Employment of industrial production managers is expected to grow more slowly than average as overall employment in manufacturing declines; however, because production managers are so essential to the efficient operation of a plant, they have not been as affected by efforts to flatten management structures.

Summary of what this career entails

The industrial production manager is in charge of planning, budgeting, and monitoring a plant's production schedule.

Examples and or details of work

As production operations become more sophisticated, increasing numbers of employers are looking for candidates with graduate degrees in industrial management or business administration. Combined with an undergraduate degree in engineering, either of these graduate degrees is considered particularly good preparation. Managers who do not have graduate degrees often take courses in decision sciences, which provide them with techniques and statistical formulas that can be used to maximize efficiency and improve quality. Companies also are placing greater importance on a candidate’s interpersonal skills. Because the job requires the ability to compromise, persuade, and negotiate, successful production managers must be well-rounded and have excellent communication skills.

Degrees that lead to this career

Some of the degrees individuals can attain include:

  • B.S. in Business Administration/ Operations Management
  • B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management
  • M.S. in Business Administration/ Operations Management
  • M.S. in Business Administration- Industrial Management
  • M.S. in Industrial Management
  • M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions available for individuals that want a career in industrial production include program administration mangers, manager of companies and enterprises, printing, motor vehicle, and plastic product manufacturing.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Industrial Production Managers, on the Internet at