Should I Become a Printing Plant Manager?
Printing plant managers oversee the daily operations of print manufacturing facilities. They work to establish efficient production methods and motivate employees to meet production goals. These managers often work long hours into overtime to ensure that production deadlines are met. But those long hours often lead to high salary potential. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, plant managers in general earned an average yearly salary of $103,720 as of May 2015. As with other leadership roles, plant management requires skills in time and personnel management, problem solving, critical thinking, judgment, and decision making. Entry into this position also requires a bachelor's degree and two to five years of experience. Let's take a closer look at the path to a career in printing plant management.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Some printing plant managers have no college education. They start as line workers and advance to managerial status. However, a formal education in industrial management is becoming increasingly necessary and most printing plant managers are equipped with a bachelor's degree in industrial management. This degree program focuses on logistics, supervisory skills, and production theories. Often, courses include finance, management, accounting, operations research, business programming, quality management, production operations, and business writing.
While a college education is highly recommended, you may also want to take advantage of company-sponsored plant manager classes, which provide training to new or prospective employees. Such courses introduce trainees to the policies, production processes, business structure, and managerial methods specific to the printing plant. Gaining admittance into one of these programs may involve contacting the plant's human resources department and expressing interest in a career with the company.
Step 2: Gain Lower-Level Management Experience
Most printing plant manager positions require experience in manufacturing process, particularly in the facility a manager would oversee. For this reason, many candidates new to the industry are initially hired as first-line supervisors and work their way up to plant manager position. An aspiring plant manager may use this opportunity to hone leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, as well as the abilities to motivate staff, maximize efficiency, and meet production goals.
Step 3: Earn Certification
Printing plant managers may earn certification to showcase their proficiency in industrial management. For example, the APICS offers the Certified in Production and Inventory Management credential. This certification program involves passing a set of exams focused on production methods, efficiency strategies, and logistics management.
Certified plant managers must maintain certification by earning continuing education points. The certified manager must accumulate 75 professional development points within five years. This can be accomplished by attending conferences, seminars, workshops, and university courses on such topics as inventory management, team building, and industrial engineering.
Step 4: Consider a Graduate Degree
Printing plant managers may also seek to continue their education in graduate school. Earning a graduate degree in business administration or technology management may increase job opportunities and qualify printing plant managers for higher-paying positions in facilities with more complex production methods.
Printing plant managers generally need a bachelor's degree in industrial management, as well as two to five years of experience, and certification, and a graduate degree can lead to career advancement opportunities.