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Plant Manager vs. Factory Manager: What Are the Differences?

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

Both plant managers and factory managers are responsible for the production in their respective workplaces. Though there are similarities between these two positions, there are also several key differences. In this article, we compare and contrast plant managers and factory managers, highlighting the duties, responsibilities and necessary skills for each role.

What is a Plant Manager?

Plant Managers are responsible for the overall operation of a manufacturing plant. They develop processes and procedures to increase efficiency and productivity. Plant Managers also develop safety protocols and ensure that the plant is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations. They create budgets and track expenses. Plant Managers also hire, train and supervise plant staff. They work closely with other departments, such as engineering, to ensure that the plant is running smoothly and efficiently.

What is a Factory Manager?

Factory Managers are responsible for the overall operation of a manufacturing plant. They oversee the production process from start to finish to ensure that products are made efficiently and to the highest quality standards. Factory Managers develop production schedules and assign tasks to workers on the production floor. They also monitor the production process and identify any bottlenecks or areas of improvement. To be successful, Factory Managers must have a deep understanding of manufacturing processes and be able to effectively communicate with workers on the production floor.

Plant Manager vs. Factory Manager

Here are the main differences between a plant manager and a factory manager.

Job Duties

Factory managers oversee the entire manufacturing process for a company. They determine which methods are best for creating a product and ensure that all employees follow those procedures. Factory managers often work closely with engineers to design new products, then communicate those requirements to the rest of the staff.

Plant managers oversee only one section of a plant, usually based on an area of responsibility. For example, they may manage the production line or the shipping department. Plant managers may also oversee specific processes like quality control or sanitation. They may make suggestions for changes in procedures or help implement new policies.

Job Requirements

Plant managers and factory managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, engineering or another relevant field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many plant managers and factory managers pursue certifications through professional organizations like the American Society for Quality (ASQ) or the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to use quality control tools and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Plant managers and factory managers work in different environments. A plant manager typically works in a manufacturing facility, where they oversee the entire production process for their company’s products. They may also travel to other facilities to ensure that each location is operating efficiently.

A factory manager usually works at an established manufacturing facility, but they don’t have oversight of all aspects of production. Instead, they focus on ensuring that employees are completing tasks correctly and maintaining safety standards.


Both plant managers and factory managers need to have excellent communication skills. This is important because they often need to interact with employees, other managers and clients. They also both need to be able to understand complex technical information so that they can make informed decisions about the operation of their facility.

Organizational skills are important for both plant managers and factory managers, as they often oversee the work of multiple departments or teams. They need to be able to juggle multiple tasks and priorities at one time and ensure that each task is given the appropriate amount of attention.

Factory managers may benefit from having more specialized skills, such as knowledge of lean manufacturing principles and experience with automated production systems. Plant managers may need to have a more well-rounded skillset, as they often are responsible for a variety of functions within their facility, including production, maintenance, shipping and receiving, and safety.


The average salary for a plant manager is $114,977 per year, while the average salary for a factory manager is $99,962 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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