The chemical industry is comprised of companies that manufacture industrial chemical products, such as acetic acid, fertilizer or petrol. Chemical industry production manager supervise the manufacturing operations in these companies. They ensure all processes that involve chemical reactions are completed safely and in accordance with production standards. If you have a background in chemistry and possess good supervisory skills, this could be the dream career for you.
What Do Chemical Industry Production Managers Do?
The duties of chemical industry production managers include:
- Inspecting raw materials or production ingredients to ensure they meet the set standards
- Maintaining the right environment for chemical production processes
- Ensuring production activities adhere to environment protection laws
- Creating work schedules for production workers
- Monitoring the production budget
- Recruiting and training new workers on production safety procedures
- Maintaining inventory of production equipment and raw materials
- Controlling the speed of production to hit production targets
- Providing solutions to production challenges, such as equipment malfunctions
- Writing reports on the production process and submitting them to senior managers
Chemical industry production managers typically work for 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday. In plants that operate for 24 hours, managers work on a shift system.
Although these professionals perform some tasks in their offices, they spend most the time on the production floor monitoring operations.
When on the production floor, they wear protective clothing, such as gloves and hardhats and safety goggles.
The following table shows the top-paying companies annual mean wages for industrial production managers:
Annual mean wage
Fabricated metal product manufacturers
Transportation equipment manufacturers
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
To become a chemical industry production manager, you will need;
- A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or industrial engineering
- Significant experience working in manufacturing settings
A chemical engineering degree equips you with the technical know-how required to supervise manufacturing processes that involve chain reactions. The degree should be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Many employers prefer experienced professionals because the position involves managing workers. As such, you should begin as a chemical production worker and work your way up.
Important Skills and Abilities
To become a successful chemical industry production manager, you should have:
- Vast knowledge in chemical processes and basic engineering principles
- Strong problem-solving and practical skills
- A detailed understanding of industrial business operations
- Good leadership skills to lead and motivate workers
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Good observation skills
- An interest in chemistry
To enhance your chances of securing a higher position, you should:
- Pursue a master’s degree in business administration
- Look for external training opportunities that will allow you to grow within the role (For Example 5S Training)
- Get certified by professional bodies such as the Association for Operations Management and the American Society for Quality
- Join the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) as a member– This option is only recommended for managers with a degree in chemical engineering.
You will find jobs in companies that manufacture:
- Synthetic materials
- Basic chemicals
After gaining vast experience and advanced qualifications, you could become a plant manager.
For more occupational information visit:
- Chemical Week [302 from http://www.chemweek.com/home/]
- Select USA
Finally, within the next eight years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects little or no employment growth for all industrial production managers. This slow growth can be attributed to the fact that many manufacturing companies are actively adopting manufacturing technologies that have made production more efficient. You should focus on obtaining a graduate degree in management to improve your employment prospects.
Despite this poor outlook for growth, if you have the necessary knowledge and drive this could be the perfect career for you.