Career Pathways: From Entry-Level to Management in Manufacturing

02.28.24 | Job Search, Professional Development

Are you interested in becoming a manufacturing manager? Wondering what your career progression might look like? Every facility is different, but here is a look at the path you might take from entry-level manufacturing work to management.

Choose a Specialization

Manufacturing jobs fall into six basic categories. If you want to become a manager, choose the area of focus that fits you best:

  • Design and Development
  • Health and Safety
  • Installation and Maintenance
  • Logistics
  • Production
  • Quality Control

You might choose the area in which you already have the most experience. But if you want to switch to a different specialization, starting your path to management would be a good time to do so.

Become a Leader

You can’t be a great manufacturing manager without some leadership experience. So do what you can to gain that experience on the floor. Depending on your facility’s structure, you might end up with a job title such as shift manager, floor manager, or team leader. The specifics don’t matter, though, since the goal is to gain experience.

Earn a Degree

Not all manufacturing managers hold four-year college degrees, but it is becoming increasingly common. Engineering degrees are generally the best. But you could choose something like business administration instead, especially if you are less interested in the design and development side of manufacturing.

Take on New Challenges

You might land your dream role straight out of college. But if not, don’t give up. A good manufacturing manager is well-rounded and experienced in different aspects of manufacturing. Take the opportunity to face new challenges and gain different types of experience. Over time, you will build a reputation as a hard worker and a fearless leader, ready to take on a management role.

And remember, your first management position likely won’t be your last. Continue to look for opportunities to grow and evolve throughout your career.

Looking for a New Manufacturing Job?

Workbox Staffing offers light industrial jobs in more than 30 locations across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. If you’re ready to jumpstart your light industrial career, take a look at our open positions or simply send us your resume today!