What Does a Production Scheduler Do? (With Duties and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A production scheduler is an occupation that requires extensive organizational and multitasking skills. Professionals in this field can work in many industries and perform a wide range of duties, like resolving production-related issues and helping their team members reach their goals. Becoming more familiar with this profession can help you determine if it's a job role that aligns with your career goals. In this article, we discuss what a production scheduler is, explore what a production scheduler does, review their qualifications, examine their important skills and analyze their salary and work environment for the role.

What is a production scheduler?

A production scheduler is a business professional whose role in a production team is the organization, management and scheduling of workflows. Their capabilities ensure that a production team can meet company goals and objectives by deadline without sacrificing performance quality. They have a capable knowledge of the production process and their team's skills and competencies so they can schedule work according to their unique dynamic. When a team member needs clarifications about the weekly schedule or how to improve a production process, they are likely to ask the production scheduler.

Related: 15 Schedule Templates To Improve Workflow

What does a production scheduler do?

A production scheduler is responsible for a large variety of duties within a production team. They coordinate with all team members to craft the daily, weekly and even monthly schedules for a production project. Schedulers need impeccable multitasking skills so they can assist production members with timely responses to simultaneous production issues. They communicate information about status updates or production changes and make reports based on the flow and priorities of the project.

Production schedulers handle unforeseen problems in the production, which may require them to reallocate resources between different teams. They ensure everyone involved in a production has the necessary tools and materials to perform their duties effectively. Some additional responsibilities of production schedulers include:

  • Managing multiple simultaneous production schedules

  • Ensuring production teams meet critical deadlines

  • Optimizing production workflow and performance

  • Reviewing a production to find areas of improvement

  • Providing constructive feedback to team members

  • Creating long-term and short-term production schedules

Related: 5 Stages of Implementing an Effective Production Schedule

What are the educational qualifications for a production scheduler?

A production scheduler position usually only requires an associate degree in a subject like business administration, management, production or another related field. However, some employers may accept a high school diploma if an applicant has the work experience to compensate. To advance in your career as a production scheduler, a bachelor's degree may be necessary, depending on the employer. Aside from taking business-related coursework, a professional may need to take classes that teach computer software and applications skills for planning and scheduling productions.

Other qualifications are often supplementary rather than mandatory. Earning them, however, may help you gain access to more job opportunities. Consider an internship or earn a certification related to production, administration, management, computers or business. For example, you can earn the PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) certification from the Project Management Institute or the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) certification from AACE International.

What are the necessary skills for a production scheduler?

Here are some of the most important skills that are necessary to work as a production scheduler:

Scheduling skills

Scheduling is one of the most important skills for a production scheduler. Their primary duties require them to set schedules for team members and map out a schedule for how the production initiative should operate. A production scheduler may set a deadline based on their stakeholders' requirements and consider many details when creating the timeline schedule, like the size of the team or scope of the project.

Read more: Planning and Scheduling: Definitions and Tips

Organizational skills

A production scheduler organizes their responsibilities so they can prioritize tasks and meet any deadlines or specific conditions. Organization also help them track different schedules and fulfill their quotas. It helps them streamlines their processes, making it easier to be more productive and minimizing any chance of scheduling errors or mistakes.

Read more: What Are Organizational Skills? (With Examples)

Time-management skills

Time management is an essential skill for production schedulers because of the abundance of work they need to complete each day. This is a skill that helps ensure they meet critical deadlines and hold their team members accountable to completing work by the deadline as well. Time-management skills help production schedulers stay on track and avoid delays.

Multitasking skills

Multitasking is a skill that allows someone to manage, work on and complete multiple tasks efficiently and productively. For production schedulers, this is especially critical because they often have several high-priority tasks and production initiatives to complete each day. They can use this skill to reach their personal targets while also assisting others to fulfill theirs.

Related: How To Multitask in 15 Simple Steps

Computer competency skills

A production scheduler must have computer competency to perform their daily tasks and responsibilities. They use a variety of computer software and applications, including project management software, to create reports, schedules and production plans. They also communicate with teams through these software platforms, email or video conferencing. With computer knowledge and the ability to learn new applications, schedulers can manage their work and even handle minor troubleshooting techniques.

Communication skills

Production scheduling is a job that requires close work with other team members and communication with everyone taking part in a production project. These skills help them clearly communicate goals, objectives and timelines, ensuring that no one becomes confused about the overall vision of the project. These skills also allow them to provide substantive feedback to others in a way that's constructive and helpful. Written communication skills are necessary so they can send emails, memos and reports that are easy to read and comprehend.

Related: 21 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills

Self-motivation skills

Production schedulers benefit from being able to work autonomously and with little supervision or micromanaging. However, being able to perform their work without a manager to supervise their performance means that staying motivated is essential for completing their duties on time. They often anticipate challenges and plan their tasks in order to accomplish goals and solve issues.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

During a production process, sometimes problems can occur unexpectedly, causing the team to reassess how to move forward or work around the issue. A scheduler needs to think critically about how to handle each situation. They should be able to use problem-solving skills to determine a cause and create a practical solution.

Related: How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills

What is the salary for a production scheduler?

The national average salary for a production scheduler is $47,837 per year. This salary estimate is likely to vary for several reasons, such as work experience, geographical location, educational achievements, employer and certifications. As you gain more experience in the field, you may eventually use this experience to negotiate for a higher salary.

What is a production scheduler's work environment?

Most production schedulers work in a typical office setting, in an individual desk environment or cubicle. They perform most of their duties on a computer while sitting down. They can gain employment within most industries, like business, finance, technology, science or manufacturing. While they perform many of their duties independently, it's also common for them to participate in meetings and to communicate with other teams and departments about production matters. These professionals typically work 40 hours per week, though it's possible to find a part-time position.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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