Production manager (manufacturing)

Manufacturing and production

Career outlook for production manager (manufacturing)

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would organise the people and processes in a factory so the production lines run smoothly and efficiently.

You’d work closely with supervisors and maintenance staff to:

  • Plan the work
  • Set targets
  • Check the finished products meet quality standards
  • Ensure that processes are cost-effective
  • Deliver the goods on time.

You could work in all types of manufacturing, for example:

  • Vehicle assembly
  • Brewing
  • Food products
  • Textiles
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Building materials

You would need to do planning, prepare orders, set quality standards and estimate timescales and costs.

You’d control the production process, monitor production schedules and make adjustments if problems occur.

In addition, you would manage the production line supervisors, organise staff and make sure the targets are met.

Factory managers and clients would expect to get production reports from you. You would also work closely with company buyers, suppliers, quality control, training departments and health and safety managers.

Having a good knowledge of health and safety regulations would be very important. You’d also need to keep up to date with quality standards for manufacturing.

Working conditions


You could expect to work 37 to 40 hours a week. This may involve shiftwork or on-call duties to deal with out-of-hours problems.


Although you would have your own office, you would spend a lot of your time on the factory floor, discussing day-to-day issues with supervisory staff and workers. You would wear protective clothing in production areas.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Coaching
  • Delegating
  • Making decisions
  • Motivating others
  • Taking responsibility

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Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

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You would need a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8), or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) generally in:

  • Technical
  • Engineering
  • Or management-centred subjects

Or relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Industrial Application (SVQ level 2) or Management (SVQ level 3/4/5).  

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science and technologies subjects such as engineering science
  • Business management

Helpful to have

A postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in management or in a subject relevant to the industry you to which you are applying.