Food manufacturing production supervisors oversee the mass creation of food products at factories and processing plants. These mid-level employees are responsible for their production team and the safety of the food they produce.
Food manufacturing production supervisors, like all industrial supervisors, typically spend part of their time in an office and part of their time on the production floor, and some have to work nights or weekends to accommodate all shifts. These professionals should have leadership skills, problem-solving skills, the ability to multi-task, decision-making skills, and general computer skills.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for first line supervisors of production workers was $56,340 in 2015, which was above the national average; however, job growth for industrial production managers in general is expected to be less favorable, with job opportunities projected to decrease 4% between 2014 and 2024.
Get Food Science Degree
Specialty training or college degrees can fast track workers to the supervisor position. Aspiring food manufacturing production supervisors can choose from college degree programs in food science or a related area that covers food manufacturing and production.
Food science programs can teach students how to create nutritious and safe food products from unprocessed material. Students may also learn about food processing equipment and the business side of food production.
Classes in a food science program could include food chemistry, food processing, product development, and advanced food technology. These classes are usually geared toward typically mass-produced foods, such as cereal, dairy, and meat.
- Complete an internship. As part of a program, a student can complete an internship at a food production company for greater hands-on experience. An internship also provides students with some level of work experience often sought by potential employers.
Secure a Position
Some food manufacturing production supervisors begin as entry-level, inexperienced workers who shadow or aid more experienced employees. Employees can learn and master specific pieces of food processing equipment.
Advance in Career
Workers who exceed expectations and perform well on the production line may receive higher earnings and more responsibility and could eventually land positions as supervisors. Having a bachelor's degree or a master's in business administration can increase your chances of promotion.
Once again, individuals who aspire to work as managers in the food manufacturing industry might consider earning a degree in food science or a related field, completing an internship in a food processing plant, and then, working their way up to a supervisory role.