Plant Manager Training Programs and Courses

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in industrial technology train students for leadership positions within industrial, manufacturing and production plants. Learn about required courses, career options and continuing education opportunities for prospective plant managers.

Essential Information

Aspiring plant managers can receive training through associate's and bachelor's degree programs in industrial technology. Both the 2-year associate's and 4-year bachelor's degree programs combine technical training with courses in business management. Students also get information on some basic engineering principles, and bachelor's degree students may get hands-on experience through design projects. A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission and courses from an associate's degree may transfer towards a bachelor's degree. Students who can demonstrate an aptitude for math and science may receive preference.

  • Program Levels: Associate's, bachelor's and master's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Program Specializations: Manufacturing or mechanics are a few examples of specialties
  • Program Length: 2 years; 4 years

Associate's Degree in Industrial Technology

Those who aspire to become plant managers should enroll in an associate's degree program for industrial technology, which may be an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. These programs cover general education topics as well as specialized training courses in mechanical engineering technology, operations management and industrial technology. The curriculum in these programs tends to cover subjects within the academic categories of engineering, technology and business management. Classes commonly offered discuss:

  • Introduction to manufacturing operations
  • Facilities planning and operations
  • Inventory management strategies
  • Introduction to systems and cost analysis
  • Fundamentals of team management

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology

The primary goal of most bachelor's degree programs in industrial technology is to provide students with both technical training and managerial education. Many of these programs combine classroom teaching methods in areas such as statistics and planning with hands-on instruction via seminars and design projects. Concentrations may be available, such as manufacturing or mechanics. Lessons teach supervisory and leadership strategies, technical engineering theories and real-world applications. Coursework often addresses:

  • Technical writing specifications
  • Applied electronics and engineering design graphic
  • Quality and safety management in manufacturing
  • Facilities design and efficient process flow methods
  • Human relations and organizational behavior

Popular Careers

A bachelor's degree in industrial production management normally leads to a career in manufacturing leadership; however, it can also lead to occupations that have a number of similar duties and responsibilities. In order to qualify for some of these jobs, candidates might need to complete additional courses or training programs. Options include:

  • Architectural assistant
  • Corporate and industrial trainer
  • Manager of inventory control and logistics
  • Material handling manager
  • Quality control manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment opportunities for industrial production managers are predicted to decline about 2 percent during the 2012-2022 decade which results in little to no change. Industrial production managers earned a mean yearly salary of $101,640, according to the same source in 2014 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

There are a number of continuing education options for those who hold an undergraduate degree in industrial technology. Graduate degree programs in related fields are widely available, leading to such titles as Master of Engineering, Master of Science in Industrial Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management. For individuals seeking more career-focused educational programs or professionally recognized certification credentials, organizations like APICS The Association for Operations Management offer a wide variety of courses, seminars and certification exams.

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