What Is Production Management and Its Jobs

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about how to get a production management job, associated salaries, necessary experience, and production management degrees.

[Featured image] Two product managers are wearing an orange vest, and gloves looking at warehouse products.

Production management oversees manufacturing and manages production inputs, such as raw materials, capital, and labour, to produce expected outputs, such as products. 

Managing production within a manufacturing company is necessary, whether it’s a large or small business. This becomes important as a company grows and managing desired output becomes more complex. 

The Canadian government expects production management jobs to have a moderate to very good growth rate in the next three years, depending on your province [1]. Canada's median annual salary for these roles is $116,887 [2]. 

What’s the purpose of production management?

Production management aims to monitor and improve the efficiency of activities, materials, staff resources, and budgets to produce goods. Production outcomes vary according to the industry. A production manager ensures manufacturing stays on schedule, within budget, and achieves the desired output goals. 

Job description for production management roles

Production management job descriptions vary by industry and level of the role. Generally, someone working in production management may have the following responsibilities:

  • Managing manufacturing processes and looking at inputs to achieve outputs

  • Creating and maintaining work schedules and budgets

  • Monitoring production to find ways to improve efficiency and processes

  • Communicating effectively with staff, stakeholders, suppliers, and customers

  • Manage safety and quality processes

  • Manage a production team 

  • Identify, evaluate, and resolve any problems with manufacturing or staffing. 

Skills needed to work in production management 

Working in production management involves a specific skill set encompassing technical and workplace skills.

Technical skills

  • Competency with technical equipment

  • Familiar with Six Sigma

  • Possess business skills

  • Understanding of equipment maintenance 

  • Knowledge of industry regulations

Workplace skills

  • Teamwork

  • Problem-solving

  • Leadership and management

  • Highly organized

  • Ability to multitask

  • Attention to detail

  • Critical thinking

  • Decision-making

  • Strategic planning 

  • Logical approach

Industries that rely on production management 

Industries that manufacture products rely on production management.  Production management jobs are available across many industries, including: 

  • Automotive 

  • Chemical

  • Food

  • Machinery

  • Metal and fabricated products 

  • Computers and technology

Common production management job titles and salaries 

Production management jobs, titles, and salaries vary, and each has different responsibilities. Rather than searching for production manager roles, you might want to expand your search to incorporate similar jobs. 

Here are some product management jobs and average salaries : 

1. Production manager

Average salary (Canada): $116,877 [2]

A production manager manages the production process and ensures the company's manufacturing goals are met (outputs) by successfully overseeing inputs such as time, staffing, efficiency, materials, and costs. 

2. Manufacturing manager

Average salary (Canada): $97,647 [3]

A manufacturing manager oversees the day-to-day operation. They organize schedules, manage staff, and set budgets. This role is very similar to that of a production manager, except the former is responsible for the entire production process, while the latter oversees the equipment and those who use it. 

3. Assistant production manager

Average salary (Canada): $83,454 [4]

An assistant production manager supports the production manager with their duties. Their tasks are similar but at a level below. 

4. Industrial production manager

Average salary (Canada): $85,410 [5]

An industrial production manager oversees production and manufacturing in an industrial plant. Their role includes scheduling production and managing budgets, staff, and processes. 

5. Plant manager 

Average salary (Canada): $110,000 [6]

A plant manager supervises operations and manufacturing, makes strategic decisions, manages staff, ensures safety, and works to achieve production goals.

6. Operations manager

Average salary (Canada): $95,000 [7]

An operations manager is responsible for production and daily operations, making business decisions, and working as a senior management team member. They look to improve production processes and may recruit and train staff. 

How to become a production manager

To become a production manager, it’s a good idea to be qualified in all areas, including skills, education, training, experience, and certifications. 


A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum educational requirement to become a production manager [8].  However, you may qualify for a position with just a high school diploma and impressive experience. 

Useful bachelor’s degree subjects include business, engineering, industrial management, manufacturing, or similar. Depending on the company and level of responsibilities, some positions may require an MBA. Some schools offer options to complete a production management degree.


On-the-job training is valuable, and new employees often spend the first months training and learning about the company and job responsibilities.

If you can complete an internship in manufacturing or production, it can help you learn the processes and understand the industry. 


Experience is necessary in most cases to work in production management leadership roles. Some work in entry-level positions to gain experience or move across from other leadership positions. 


You may need to get certification from a specific regulatory agency before you begin working. Check with an authorizing body for a specialty in your province or territory to determine which certifications may be required. For instance, in Quebec, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food regulates a dairy plant manager's position.

Next steps 

To pursue a career in production management, a great place to start is by learning more about the manufacturing management process by taking the Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise course offered by The State University of New York on Coursera. You can also brush up on your leadership skills with the Leading People and Teams Specialization from the University of Michigan.


Article sources


Job Bank. “Manager, production operations in Canada, https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/outlook-occupation/71/ca.” Accessed April 23, 2024.

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