Food Production Supervisor: Job Description and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a food production supervisor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and other requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

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Food production supervisors manage the processing of food products or the machinery and processes involved in food production. These positions usually require food production experience as well as managerial experience. The median annual salary for food production supervisors was about $56,000 in 2015.

Essential Information

Food production supervisors are involved in either the daily operations of food processing or the design of processing equipment. They must hold a bachelor's degree, and employers prefer food production supervisors to have studied food science or manufacturing engineering. Experience in food production or in holding a supervisory role is also favored by employers.

Required Education Bachelor's degree; study in food science or manufacturing engineering is recommended
Other Requirements Previous experience in food production or experience in a supervisory role preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) -4% (industrial production managers)*
Median Salary (2016) $55,846 annually**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **Payscale.com

Job Description for a Food Production Supervisor

Some food production supervisors may oversee the daily operations of food processing. Their job may be to ensure that production meets health, sanitation, and quality standards set by the corporation, food industry, and government agencies. These food production supervisors may also be responsible for coordinating shifts, arranging schedules, and monitoring employee performance.

Other food production supervisors may be more involved with the design of machinery, such as assembly line or processing equipment. These professionals generally review manufacturing processes for efficiency, noting areas for improvement and researching alternative machinery, equipment, or modifications. Additionally, these food production supervisors may also recommend incorporating lean manufacturing systems, that train assembly line workers in all aspects of production in order allow managerial flexibility in times of worker absences or vacations.

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Food Production Supervisor Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial production employers generally prefer applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree program in business administration, industrial engineering, or a related field (www.bls.gov). A March 2011 job search on CareerBuilder.com found that employers within the more narrowly focused food production industry tend to prefer applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree program in food science or manufacturing engineering or those with related food industry experience.

Food science and manufacturing engineering programs generally begin similarly, with courses in mathematics, like trigonometry and calculus, as well as courses in biology and chemistry. After completing core requirements, students in these majors typically begin to specialize. For example, food science majors may move on to more advanced topics in meat grading, food microbiology, and food safety assurance, while manufacturing engineers may focus on fluid mechanics, control systems, and automation.

Some employers may also favor job seekers who have previous experience in food production or a supervisory role. Others may seek to hire candidates who are familiar with manufacturing principles, such as Six Sigma. Applicants may also enhance their employment opportunities by attaining working knowledge of international standards, like ISO9000.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary of production supervisors working in food manufacturing is $55,846, as of October 2016. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of food production, the BLS did project that the employment of industrial production managers would decrease by 4% between 2014 and 2024.

Food production supervisors require a bachelor's degree in a related field. Food industry experience or education is usually preferred. The job growth outlook is for a decline in these positions.

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