Industrial production is an industry that focuses on manufacturing products. With a bachelor's degree in industrial production it's possible to enter the workforce as an industrial production manager or occupational health and safety specialist. A master's degree is required to pursue a career as a management analyst.
Industrial production is a general term that refers to the process of converting raw material into finished products. It can occur in factory settings or in high-tech clean rooms. A variety of jobs are available in this broad field, including occupational health and safety specialist, industrial production manager and management analyst.
|Career Titles||Industrial Production Manager||Management Analyst||Occupational Health and Safety Specialist|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree||Master's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||-4%||14%||4%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$93,940||$81,320||$70,210|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Careers in industrial production are varied, and entry-level positions require different educational degrees. Industrial production employees create and maintain efficient operations, or ensure safe working conditions that meet strict regulations. Those working in industrial production should have strong problem-solving skills, and may choose to pursue certification specific to their chosen career within this field.
Industrial Production Manager
Industrial production managers coordinate the operational elements of production environments, including equipment layout, production methods, workflow and staffing. They make adjustments to these elements to meet production, quality, safety and budget requirements. These managers may work with efficiency experts to identify improvement opportunities and implement new efficiency models. Their time may be divided between working on production floors and in offices.
Prospective industrial production managers typically obtain bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering, business administration or similar fields. A degree program in industrial engineering may include courses in lean manufacturing, Six Sigma operations, supply-chain management and robotics. Some employers require candidates to have advanced degrees in related subjects. Industrial production managers may also seek professional certification, like the Certified Technology Manager (CTM) designation, which is offered by The Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering.
Job Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job opportunities for industrial production managers were expected to decrease by four percent from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the median annual salary for these professionals was $93,940.
The trend towards increased complexity in industrial production has expanded the role of management analysts. Companies turn to them for assistance in maximizing efficiency and remaining competitive. Companies typically hire management analysts to focus on specific elements of their operation, like the company's inventory levels or distribution channels. In addition to specializing in specific production areas, they may also specialize in specific industries, such as electronic consumer products or pharmaceuticals.
Because of the highly technical nature of this career, it is common for positions to entail master's degrees in business administration or related majors. In addition to formal education, industrial-production management analysts typically also have considerable experience in the industrial-production industry. Some management analysts pursue professional certification. The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation, for example, is offered by the Institute of Management Consultants USA.
Job Outlook and Salary
The BLS reported that employment in this field was expected to grow robustly by 14% from 2014 to 2024. In May 2015, the median annual salary for management analysts was $81,320.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Occupational health and safety specialists, many of whom are government employees, promote safe and healthy work environments. They accomplish this by visiting and inspecting production facilities. For example, they may inspect machines, observe workers, test air samples and review accident reports to determine if operations are in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. They also design strategies to address any identified deficiencies.
Careers in this field typically require bachelor's degrees in occupational safety and health or related fields. Coursework in these programs may include OSHA standards, fire prevention, industrial hygiene and ergonomics. Professional certifications are also available for these workers, such as the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential offered by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Job Outlook and Salary
According to the BLS, employment was expected to grow by 4% for this career from 2014 to 2024. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for occupational health and safety specialists was $70,210 in May 2015.
Industrial production managers oversee the process of producing products, including the machinery and staff involved in this process; management analysts focus on finding ways to improve the efficiency of production. Occupational health and safety specialists may inspect manufacturing plants and companies to make sure that the business is complying with safety regulations and maintaining a safe work environment for employees. Professionals in these career fields need a bachelor's or master's degree, and can prepare for their career by studying industrial production.