Apparel production managers supervise the work of those creating clothing. They need at least a bachelor's degree as well as skills in management, communications and business software. These positions are expected to decrease over the next decade.
All departments within the apparel production industry, such as patternmaking or sewing machine operators, require supervisors to manage and motivate workers. Supervisors, who have usually earned a bachelor's degree in a related field, keep track of daily duties and make sure that workers meet company needs. Some manage dozens of workers at fabric manufacturing plants; whereas, others oversee small groups of seamstresses and tailors at boutique shops.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||management experience may be required|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||-1% for industrial production managers*|
|Median Annual Salary (2018)||$103,380 for industrial production managers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description for Apparel Production Supervisors
Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) demonstrated that, as of 2018, the apparel production industry included multiple fields, each offering employment in supervisory roles (www.bls.gov). Supervisors manage apparel production teams by making sure team members meet quotas, use equipment correctly and adhere to company policies. Although supervisors spend most of their time overseeing workers, job duties may include writing budget reports, processing shipping information and completing individual production tasks.
Other duties vary by department, but some common tasks include quality control and handling employees. Some supervisors conduct product quality tests, whereas others delegate duties to a team of quality inspectors. Hiring and training employees is typically the job of a supervisor. Training includes the initial training of new hires, as well as the continuous training of all employees as tasks change over time, such as learning to operate updated equipment. Supervisors also evaluate team members and handle disciplinary actions such as warnings, write-ups and firings.
Apparel Production Supervisor Requirements
According to the BLS, many employers usually prefer supervisors who have earned an undergraduate degree related to business or the apparel industry. Business management degree programs include applicable coursework in marketing, accounting and communications. Some degree programs focus on management skills related to certain work environments in the apparel industry, such as small businesses or manufacturing plants. Other degree programs related to the apparel industry include fashion merchandising or textiles engineering.
Most job postings listed on CareerBuilder.com in March 2011 for apparel production supervisors and managers stated an expressed desire for applicants with computer experience, specifically with creating documents and spreadsheets. Many of these same employers required supervisors to possess 1-5 years of management experience. Several of these employers also stated a need for excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
While the BLS does not report specifically about apparel production supervisors, it does indicate that the employment growth for all industrial production managers is expected to decline by 1% from 2018-2028. These managers earned a median annual salary of $103,380 as of May 2018, the BLS reports.
Apparel production supervisors usually require a bachelor's degree. Employers prefer candidates with management experience. These positions have a median annual salary of about $103,000.