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Manufacturing Manager vs. Production Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in management may be appealing if you’re interested in leading and motivating a team. Two common management positions in the manufacturing industry are that of a manufacturing manager and a production manager. Though both roles are important to the success of a company, there are several key differences between them.

In this article, we discuss the differences between a manufacturing manager and a production manager, and we provide additional management positions you may be interested in pursuing.

What is a Manufacturing Manager?

A Manufacturing Manager is responsible for the overall production process in a manufacturing company. They develop production schedules, oversee the manufacturing process and ensure that products are produced on time and meet quality standards. Manufacturing Managers work closely with other managers, engineers and production staff to ensure that the manufacturing process is efficient and effective. They also develop safety protocols and procedures to protect workers and equipment. Manufacturing Managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field.

What is a Production Manager?

The Production Manager is responsible for the overall management of the production process. They develop schedules, assign tasks, monitor progress and ensure that quality standards are met. They also work with other departments to ensure that the raw materials and supplies needed for production are available when needed. Production Managers typically work in manufacturing or industrial environments and have a team of production workers that report to them. They may also be responsible for training new employees and developing standard operating procedures.

Manufacturing Manager vs. Production Manager

Here are the main differences between a manufacturing manager and a production manager.

Job Duties

Production and manufacturing managers share some of their job duties, but each has unique responsibilities that don’t overlap. Production managers oversee the production process in a facility, so they’re responsible for ensuring that all aspects of creating a product run smoothly. This includes overseeing the work of the employees on their team, delegating tasks and providing direction when necessary. They also monitor productivity levels, evaluate equipment usage and ensure that deadlines are met.

In contrast, manufacturing managers oversee the manufacturing process, which refers to the steps involved in creating a product after it’s been produced. This includes determining which processes are most effective, selecting machinery for use in those processes and evaluating finished products before they’re shipped to customers. Manufacturing managers may also be responsible for training staff, developing new processes or implementing quality assurance measures.

Job Requirements

To become a manufacturing manager or production manager, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, engineering or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many manufacturing managers and production managers pursue certifications through the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) or the Society for Manufacturing Engineers (SME). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to use manufacturing software and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Manufacturing and production managers can work in a variety of environments, depending on the industry they’re working in. For example, manufacturing managers may work in factories or other industrial settings where they oversee the entire process of creating products. Production managers often work in offices to manage their teams and ensure that projects are completed on time.

Both types of managers typically spend most of their days at work, but some may travel to visit different locations or meet with clients. Manufacturing and production managers also need to be able to work overtime when necessary to complete projects.


There are several similarities in the skills used by manufacturing managers and production managers. Both roles require excellent communication skills, as they need to be able to coordinate with other departments within their company, such as sales and marketing, to ensure that products are being manufactured according to customer demands. They also both need to have strong organizational skills to manage the different tasks and deadlines associated with their job.

However, there are some differences in the skills used by these two professionals. Manufacturing managers typically need to have a more in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing process and the different machines and equipment used in the process. This knowledge is necessary to troubleshoot issues that may arise during production and to develop efficient manufacturing processes. Production managers, on the other hand, may benefit from having a more comprehensive understanding of business concepts, as they are responsible for ensuring that products are being produced according to budget and on schedule.


The average salary for a manufacturing manager is $98,848 per year, while the average salary for a production manager is $73,786 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the manager has.


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