Plant Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Plant Manager, or Manufacturing Plant Manager, is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of manufacturing plants and their employees. Their duties include hiring and training manufacturing plant employees, reviewing production records to determine whether employees meet their performance expectations and coordinating with corporate management to enforce changes to plant budgets or safety procedures.

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Plant Manager duties and responsibilities

A Plant Manager should be trained to do each role in the department they oversee. The following are some duties and responsibilities of a Plant Manager:

  • Oversee operations to ensure safety
  • Develop plans that help operations run smoothly
  • Manage production 
  • Create and manage budgets
  • Recruit, train and onboard new employees
  • Collect and review data to reduce inefficiencies and waste
  • Analyze data and create reports to present to executives regarding processes
  • Evaluate employees and give suggestions for improvement
  • Oversee work schedules to ensure coverage
  • Perform routine safety checks on equipment 
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What does a Plant Manager do?

Plant Managers typically work for manufacturing plants that produce a variety of products for different industries. They work closely with upper management and plant employees to relay information about changing corporate needs or employee performance reports. Their job is to establish production goals, safety standards and production processes that maximize production activities. They may also be responsible for diagnosing equipment problems, making repairs or ordering new equipment as needed.

Plant Manager skills and qualifications

Plant Managers need a variety of hard and soft skills, including:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Ability to lead a large team
  • Strong attention to deal
  • Multitasking and time-management skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Knowledge of latest safety laws and regulations
  • Detailed knowledge of plant and manufacturing operations
  • Good problem-solving abilities

Plant Manager salary expectations

A Plant Manager makes an average of $100,825 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Plant Manager education and training requirements

Plant Managers usually need a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering or a related field, though some employees may have a high school diploma or GED and several years of experience at the same plant. A degree or even some coursework in business is useful for Plant Managers. In some cases, Plant Managers need a Master of Business Administration. Training management programs are common, and many Plant Managers also undergo internships during school to get practical experience while still taking classes. 

Plant Manager experience requirements

Depending on their education level, a Plant Manager could have varying experience levels. Those who have a high school diploma or GED need five years or more of experience. Undergraduate-degree holders usually need at least three years of experience as an Engineer or in a similar role. A candidate with an MBA may be able to earn an entry-level Plant Manager position with less than one year of experience. The size and type of the plant are also factors in experience requirements. 

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Frequently asked questions about Plant Managers


What is the difference between a Plant Manager and a Supply Chain Manager?

The difference between a Plant Manager and a Supply Chain Manager is their areas of job focus. For example, Plant Managers are responsible for overseeing daily operations at a manufacturing plant. They supervise employees, receive order requests and increase or slow production based on inventory needs. In contrast, Supply Chain Managers oversee a fleet of company drivers or third-party shippers. They track orders using computer software, set driver or delivery schedules and instruct business partners on how much inventory they need for each delivery. 

Plant Managers and Supply Chain Managers communicate with one another about shipment schedules and production delays.


What are the daily duties of a Plant Manager?

On a typical day, a Plant Manager starts by reviewing the employee schedule for the day. They hold a meeting before production begins to remind employees of their responsibilities and respective quotas. Throughout the day, Plant Managers divide their time between their office and the production floor. While in their office, they draft job descriptions for vacancies, review employee quota data and communicate with corporate management over the phone to discuss changes to production needs. 

Between their administrative duties, Plant Managers supervise employee workstations, investigate potential equipment defects and make sure that all employees follow the plant’s safety procedures.


What qualities make a good Plant Manager?

A good Plant Manager is someone with a natural ability to lead. This quality enables them to oversee a team of manufacturing plant employees while enforcing safe and productive work procedures. They have excellent interpersonal communication, allowing them to adjust their communication to speak with employees, corporate management and business partners. Further, a good Plant Manager has an innovative mindset, which helps them develop unique incentives to motivate their employees. A good Plant Manager also prioritizes employee safety and makes sure that their employees understand how to complete their job duties safely.


Who does a Plant Manager report to?

Plant Managers usually report to the Director of Plant Operations or the Director of Manufacturing. These roles act as a point of communication for Plant Managers when they need additional funding for manufacturing equipment. Plant Managers also receive information from these individuals regarding changing personnel needs, production quota expectations or new manufacturing plant procedures.

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