What Does a Production Planner Do?
Production planners use their knowledge of efficiency to run the day-to-day processes in a manufacturing organization. They review and distribute production schedules; coordinate the workflow of materials; liaise with department supervisors regarding the progress of work; and prepare reports on inventory levels, costs, and more. The chart below highlights some of the requirements of a production planner.
|Education Requirements||High school diploma, bachelor's degree preferred|
|Training Requirements||On-the-job and also under the guidance of experienced workers|
|Skills Requirements||Problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, time management, listening|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||4-6% (Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks)|
|Average Yearly Salary (2018)**||$57,600|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com
Production Planner Duties
Production planners must ensure that products are ready to ship on time, which requires them to wear a variety of hats. One of their primary job duties is to review schedules to determine materials or personnel requirements. They must check the inventory and act quickly if there is a shortage of supplies that can result in delays. In such circumstances, production planners often confer with other departments or vendors and customers and accordingly make changes to the schedule. Additionally, the job necessitates a substantial amount of documentation, and planners must prepare reports and documents related to production, transportation, maintenance, and labor. Production planners might also be responsible for tasks like:
- Oversee truck loading and unloading
- Make inventory counts
- Delegate duties to warehouse workers
- Recommend and implement more efficient production techniques
- Maintain relationships with suppliers
- Buy materials for production (boxes, wrap, labels, etc)
Production Planner Education and Certification Requirements
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 36 percent of production, planning, and expediting clerks have a high school diploma. However, many employers look for applicants with an undergraduate degree or years of experience. While an undergraduate degree may not be explicitly required, certification or coursework may boost the chances of employment. Prospective production planners can try for the American Production and Inventory Control Society's (APICS) Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) credential or an associate's degree in inventory management. Higher supervisory posts may require a major in an area such as logistics and supply chain management. Employers may also look favorably upon candidates who have previous work experience in production. Individuals new to these kinds of jobs typically get the required training on the floor and under the supervision of experienced colleagues.
Production Planner Job and Salary Outlook
According to Payscale.com, production planners earn an average annual wage of $57,600. The BLS lists the growth rate for production, planning, and expediting clerks at 4-6 percent for the period 2018-2028. Salary growth is directly related to time on the job. A sample survey conducted by Payscale.com reports that production planners with one to four years of experience earn an average yearly salary of $52,698 and a professional with six to nine years $60,342. A planner with 10-19 and 20 plus years of experience made average annual wages of $63,574 and $65,873, respectively.