A career path in management is neither a straight line nor the same for everybody.
However, almost all management careers begin in the same place and have similar milestones along the way. Each career path includes formal and informal instruction on what a manager must know in order to succeed and how to get to the next level of management.
To begin a career in plant management, you must proactively take steps. Start by networking with those already in plant management and expressing your desire to join them. Don’t kick back and wait for a career in plant management to find you. Let it be known that this is what you want, and others will be more apt to give you guidance.
First, it helps to understand a plant manager’s job and responsibilities.
What Does a Plant Manager Do?
At its most basic, the job of a plant manager is to handle the day-to-day administration and processes of a production facility.
As a plant manager, you must manage a team of employees and you may have other managers working under you. For plant managers working in production, typical job duties include setting production schedules, determining productivity objectives, and tracking operations to make certain processes are both safe and efficient. A production manager must spend a significant amount of time on the production floor. To be successful, plant managers must collaborate with various other departments, other supervisors and executives.
Those looking to advance into upper management should continue their education. Some plant managers begin as front-line employees and earn their management bona fides with on-the-job training. Many companies ask that a managerial candidate complete their bachelor’s degree or and larger companies have an official management training program. Those who have earned a bachelor’s degree tend to be promoted into management faster than those who do not.
In addition to education, industry-specific skills and experience, managers should also have essential soft skills, including good time management, problem-solving and communication skills.
What is the Career Path?
In your first management position, it is critical to rely on training and experience when dealing with the expected, while also being ready for the unexpected.
It helps to embrace a team mentality. Ask your employees for feedback and suggestions, while making it clear you still have the final say on major decisions. Most workers will appreciate the chance to be included in decision making and with the help of your team, it makes your first steps as a plant manager much easier.
After getting a few years of experience under your belt, you will have learned from mistakes and scored some major accomplishments. When you’re building on positives and learning from negatives, you’re positioning yourself for advancement into upper management and executive positions. You’re also well-positioned to strike out on your own and manage your own business.