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Become a Production Scheduler: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Find out how to become a production scheduler. Research the education requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in the field of production planning and scheduling.

Should I Become a Production Scheduler?

Production schedulers, also known as production planners or production planning clerks, organize how companies manufacture items, distribute products, and utilize labor. Production schedulers review productivity rates to determine ways to increase efficiency. They also create inventory records, forecast inventory orders and estimate costs, like costs for creating and shipping products.

Production schedulers split their time between working in an office and on the production floor, where they are exposed to a noisy and potentially hazardous environment. The BLS reported the median annual salary for these professionals was $45,670 in May 2014. They need bachelor's degrees and multiple years of experience in the industry.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree.
Degree Field Business administration, manufacturing management or a related business or technical field.
Experience 2-3 years of experience in manufacturing production planning.
Key Skills Resource allocation, leadership, employee monitoring, math, time management, teamwork and communication skills, familiarity with production processes and schedules, logistics, quality control and raw materials, familiarity with accounting software, logistics planning software, Microsoft Office and manufacturing software.
Salary(2014) $45,670 per year (Median salary for all production clerks).

Sources: *November 2014 job postings from CareerBuilder.com; O'Net OnLine, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Job postings on CareerBuilder.com from November 2014 indicated that employers wanted applicants with bachelor's degrees in fields related to business, operations, manufacturing, or production management. Coursework includes production and operations analysis, system simulations, machine scheduling, applied engineering, and management information systems. Students learn quality planning methods, logistics and supply chain management, and managerial finance and accounting.

Success Tip:

  • Complete an internship. Bachelor's degree programs have internship opportunities available to students. For example, students can take part in a production scheduling internship to gain first-hand experience with making schedules, monitoring production processes, and reviewing productivity reports. Furthermore, some internships lead to full-time, entry-level positions.

Step 2: Build Industry Experience

As of November 2014, several employers posting on CareerBuilder.com for production schedulers were looking for job candidates with 2-3 years of experience with inventory management, cost estimating, manufacturing, and production. People looking to become production schedulers consider starting out with entry-level management positions or positions with production teams, procurement departments, or manufacturing financial departments.

Step 3: Career Advancement

After a few years of experience learning how production works, prospective schedulers look for career advancement opportunities in management. They have more responsibility, which they demonstrate through acquired skills from on-the-job training.

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