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Production Management Training and Degree Program Overviews

While no specific degree is required for production management, an education in business operations, strategy, and manufacturing systems is beneficial. Some degree programs in production management include studies within the fields of operations, fashion, and agriculture.

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Essential Information

Production and Operations Management students learn administrative responsibilities, with time spent on the factory floor overseeing the manufacturing process during 4-year degree programs. Students take courses in liberal arts, business and manufacturing technologies and techniques specific to the industry. People earning a B.S. in Agricultural Production Management, for example, are taught to utilize sophisticated principles of business, science and production in farm operations. Students can also pursue degrees in other fields, like Production Management - Fashion Industry. Students have the opportunity to participate in internships. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in textile manufacturing, apparel manufacturing, delivery, industrial manufacturing, or farming.To qualify for admission, students will need a high school diploma or GED and results from a college entrance exam like the SAT or ACT.


Bachelor of Science Degree in Production and Operations Management

People earning the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Production and Operations Management are qualified to become industrial production managers. Other degree programs, such as a B.S. in Management with a production or logistics emphasis, may provide a similar education. When researching programs, candidates should look for those teaching all phases of industrial manufacturing administration, including labor allocation, production scheduling, cost control, production processes and technologies, quality control, and distribution. Some programs require a minimum GPA and admission test scores. Many also require an essay describing the applicant's educational goals and suitability for the program. During the first 1-2 years, students take courses to fulfill college requirements plus courses to prepare for the production and operations management major, such as calculus, statistics and introduction to business. Thereafter, students take courses to fulfill the major. Many programs incorporate internships at manufacturing facilities. Coursework includes:

  • Organizational planning and decision-making
  • Project and resource management
  • Quality management
  • Supply chain management
  • Operations planning and scheduling
  • Auditing and controls

Bachelor of Science Degree in Production Management - Fashion Industry

A B.S. in Production Management program for the fashion industry combines classes in business, operations and production with internships in manufacturing facilities. Because of the international nature of the fashion industry, students also learn about importing, exporting, and competing in a global marketplace. Some programs require students to have an associate degree in fashion industry manufacturing. The coursework for an associate degree introduces students to the field. In addition to liberal arts requirements, coursework includes:

  • Manufacturing and quality assurance
  • Production machinery
  • Statistics and quantitative methods
  • Color science
  • Cutting room
  • Product cost

Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Production Management

An agricultural production manager is a farmer or farm manager. Similar degrees are offered under titles like agricultural systems with an emphasis in farm and ranch management. Because crops vary by region, programs specialize in local farming issues. For this reason, students interested in agricultural production management attend programs located in the region where they intend to work. While it is not required, many applicants have grown up on farms or have experience in agriculture. The B.S. in Agricultural Production Management program spans a number of disciplines, including business operations, management, agriculture, and science. Coursework includes:

  • Feed crops
  • Forage and crop production
  • Weed science
  • Range management
  • Soil science
  • Fertilizer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment in industrial production to decline 4% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). Because production managers oversee both workers and machines, the decline was not expected to affect them as much as other industrial-manufacturing employees. As of May 2014, the median annual wage for industrial production managers was $93,940.

Payscale.com stated that the median annual salary for production managers in apparel manufacturing was $52,414 as of 2016. Like with the production management industry in general, continuing automation and the outsourcing of manufacturing processes can negatively affect job growth.

Improved productivity can lead to the need for fewer farmers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and jobs for farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers were expected to decrease by 2 percent during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). This decline is partly due to the consolidation of farms and the increasing prices of items needed for farming. Despite the decline in the field, the BLS expects better prospects for agricultural managers because large farms will need their expertise to operate effectively. The BLS indicated that the median annual wage for farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers in May 2015 was $64,170.

Continuing Education

The B.S. in Production and Operations does not require continuing education. It qualifies its holders for graduate programs in business or related fields, such as an MBA program, that may enhance qualifications and credentials for production managers who aspire to reach upper management positions.

No continuing education is required. Production managers with a B.S. in Production Management for the fashion industry who aspire to advance may pursue a graduate degree in business, such as an MBA. The resulting combination of manufacturing experience and education could qualify them for senior roles, such as an operations manager.

A B.S. in Agricultural Production Management is sufficient for employment in the field. Degree-holders interested in greater specialization or research will have to meet the educational prerequisites for graduate schools of agriculture.

Production management degrees will prepare students to enter a variety of industries with the necessary skills and knowledge to oversee small and large-scale production.

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