Production supervisor


Production supervisors coordinate, plan and direct manufacturing and production processes. They are responsible for reviewing production schedules or orders as well as dealing with staff in these production areas.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to production supervisor:

food quality control operator
consumer goods production controller
consumer goods production foreman
consumer goods production forewoman
food manufacturing supervisor
production team leader
production forewoman
production process supervisor
consumer goods production overseer
production controller
production plant supervisor
consumer goods production supervisor
consumer goods manufacturing supervisor
manufacturing supervisor
quality control operator
production line supervisor
production quality supervisor
manufacturing supervisor, food
consumer goods production quality supervisor
manufacturing supervisor, consumer goods
production schedule supervisor
food production supervisor
production overseer
consumer goods quality control operator
production foreman
production machine supervisor

Minimum qualifications

Associate’s degree is generally required to work as production supervisor. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Production supervisor is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Production supervisor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to production supervisor.

metal production supervisor
machine operator supervisor
paper mill supervisor
machinery assembly supervisor
container equipment assembly supervisor

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of production supervisor. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of production supervisor with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

metal production manager
production engineer
chemical plant manager
sewerage systems manager
water treatment plant manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of production supervisor.

Production processes: Materials and techniques required in the production and distribution processes.
Manufacturing processes: The steps required through which a material is transformed into a product, its development and full-scale manufacturing.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of production supervisor.

Adjust production schedule: Adjust work schedule in order to maintain permanent shift operation.
Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
Strive for company growth: Develop strategies and plans aiming at achieving a sustained company growth, be the company self-owned or somebody else’s. Strive with actions to increase revenues and positive cash flows.
Schedule production: Schedule the production aiming maximum profitability while still maintaining the company KPIs in cost, quality, service and innovation.
Provide department schedule for staff: Lead staff members through breaks and lunches, schedule work adhere to labour hours allocated to the department.
Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
Monitor stock level: Evaluate how much stock is used and determine what should be ordered.
Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
Monitor conveyor belt: Monitor the flow of the work pieces on the conveyor belt as they are processed by the machine to ensure optimal productivity.
Ensure quality of final product: Ensure that finished products meet or exceed company specifications.
Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
Ensure correct goods labelling: Ensure that goods are labeled with all necessary labeling information (e.g. legal, technological, hazardous and others) regarding the product. Ensure that labels respects the legal requirements and adhere to regulations.
Optimise production: Analyse and identify the strengths and weaknesses of solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems; formulate and plan alternatives.
Manage workflow processes: Develop, document and implement traffic and workflow processes across the company for different functions. Liaise with several departments and services such as account management and the creative director to plan and resource work.
Plan shifts of employees: Plans shifts of employees to ensure completion of all customer orders and satisfactory completion of the production plan.
Evaluate employees work: Evaluate the need for labour for the work ahead. Evaluate the performance of the team of workers and inform superiors. Encourage and support the employees in learning, teach them techniques and check the application to ensure product quality and labour productivity.
Enhance production workflow: Enhance the product workflow by analysing and developing logistics plans that impact production as well as distribution.
Monitor production developments: Monitor parameters to keep an eye on the production, developments and costs within your area of control.
Meet deadlines: Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.
Supervise staff: Oversee the selection, training, performance and motivation of staff.
Adhere to organisational guidelines: Adhere to organisational or department specific standards and guidelines. Understand the motives of the organisation and the common agreements and act accordingly.
Ensure safety in the production area: Take ultimate responsibility for the safety, quality and efficiency of the production area.
Plan health and safety procedures: Set up procedures for maintaining and improving health and safety in the workplace.
Follow production schedule: Follow production schedule taking into account all requirements, times and needs. This schedule outlines what individual commodities must be produced in each time period and encapsulates various concerns like production, staffing, inventory, etc. It is usually linked to manufacturing where the plan indicates when and how much of each product will be demanded. Utilise all the information in the actual implementation of the plan.
Coordinate communication within a team: Collect contact info for all team members and decide on modes of communication.
Set production facilities standards: Ensure a high standard of safety and quality in facilities, systems, and workers’ behaviour. Ensure adherence to procedures and audit standards. Ensure that machinery and appliances in the production plant are appropriate for their task.
Analyse staff capacity: Evaluate and identify staffing gaps in quantity, skills, performance revenue and surpluses.
Report on production results: Report on production to the hierarchy. Mention a specified set of parameters, such as amount produced and timing, and any issues or unexpected occurrences.
Communicate schedules to the people concerned: Convey relevant scheduling information. Present the schedule to the persons concerned, and inform them of any schedule changes. Approve the schedules and verify that everyone has understood the information sent to them.
Meet productivity targets: Devise methods to determine improvement in productivity, adjusting the goals to be reached and the necessary time and resources.
Communicate production plan: Communicates production plan to all levels in a way that targets, processes, and requirements are clear. Ensures that information is passed to everyone involved in the process assuming their responsibility for overall success.
Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
Perform resource planning: Estimate the expected input in terms of time, human and financial resources necessary to achieve the project objectives.
Follow company standards: Lead and manage according to the organisation’s code of conduct.
Implement strategic planning: Take action on the goals and procedures defined at a strategic level in order to mobilise resources and pursue the established strategies.
Control production: Plan, coordinate, and direct all production activities to insure the goods are made on time, in correct order, of adequate quality and composition, starting from intake goods up to shipping.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of production supervisor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Toys and games industry: Types of products available in the games and toys industry and of the major suppliers in the field.
Musical instruments: The different musical instruments, their ranges, timbre, and possible combinations.
Innovation processes: The techniques, models, methods and strategies which contribute to the promotion of steps towards innovation.
Jewellery processes: Materials and processes involved in creating jewellery items like earrings, necklaces, rings, brackets, etc.
Legal requirements of ict products: The international regulations related to the development and use of ICT products.
Furniture industry: Companies and activities involved in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of functional and decorative objects of household equipment.
Product comprehension: The offered products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
Medical devices: Equipment and devices used in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of medical issues. Medical devices cover a wide range of products, ranging from syringes and protheses to MRI machinery and hearing aids.
Features of sporting equipment: Types of sporting, fitness and recreational equipment and sporting supplies and their characteristics.
Manufacturing of sports equipment: The manufacture of products and equipment used for both outdoor and indoor sports activities, such as balls, rackets, ski’s, surfboards, fishing, hunting, skating or fitness centre equipment.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of production supervisor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Manage supplies: Monitor and control the flow of supplies that includes the purchase, storage and movement of the required quality of raw materials, and also work-in-progress inventory. Manage supply chain activities and synchronise supply with demand of production and customer.
Ensure compliance with environmental legislation: Monitor activities and perform tasks ensuring compliance with standards involving environmental protection and sustainability, and amend activities in the case of changes in environmental legislation. Ensure that the processes are compliant with environment regulations and best practices.
Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
Lead process optimisation: Lead process optimisation using statistical data. Design experiments on the production line and functional process control models.
Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
Provide documentation: Prepare and distribute documentation to ensure all people involved in the production receive relevant and up-to-date information.
Manage human resources: Conduct employee recruitment, helping employees to develop their personal and organisational skills, knowledge, and competencies as well as providing feedback and performance appraisals. It includes motivating employees, by implementing rewarding systems (managing pay and benefit systems) in order to maximise employee performance with regard to employer’s strategic objectives.
Record production data for quality control: Keep records of the machine’s faults, interventions and irregularities for quality control.
Monitor manufacturing quality standards: Monitor quality standards in manufacturing and finishing process.
Manage emergency procedures: React quickly in case of emergency and set planned emergency procedures in motion.
Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
Recruit employees: Hire new employees by scoping the job role, advertising, performing interviews and selecting staff in line with company policy and legislation.
Manufacture dental instruments: Manufacture dental instruments, using specified materials, components, hand and power tools.
Identify training needs: Analyse the training problems and identify the training requirements of an organisation or individuals, so as to provide them with instruction tailored to their prior mastery, profile, means and problem.
Meet contract specifications: Meet contract specifications, schedules and manufacturers’ information. Check that the work can be carried out in the estimated and allocated time.
Identify hazards in the workplace: Perform safety audits and inspections on workplaces and workplace equipment. Ensure that they meet safety regulations and identify hazards and risks.
Monitor automated machines: Continuously check up on the automated machine’s set-up and execution or make regular control rounds. If necessary, record and interpret data on the operating conditions of installations and equipment in order to identify abnormalities.
Coordinate export transportation activities: Coordinate all export transportation operations while considering export strategies and services.
Measure customer feedback: Evaluate customer’s comments in order to find out whether customers feel satisfied or dissatisfied with the product or service.
Provide advice to technicians: Offer help and advice to service technicians in case of machine malfunctions and other repair tasks.
Liaise with quality assurance: Work closely with the relevant quality assurance or grading party involved.
Consult technical resources: Read and interpret such technical resources such as digital or paper drawings and adjustment data in order to properly set up a machine or working tool, or to assemble mechanical equipment.
Negotiate supplier arrangements: Reach an agreement with the supplier upon technical, quantity, quality, price, conditions, storage, packaging, send-back and other requirements related to the purchasing and delivering process.
Replace machines: Evaluate when to invest in replacing machines or machine tools and take the necessary actions.
Manage discarded products: Manage production stops due to insufficient product quality and manage associated waste issues within the scope of good manufacturing practices.
Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
Control of expenses: Monitoring and maintaining effective cost controls, in regards to efficiencies, waste, overtime and staffing. Assessing excesses and strives for efficiency and productivity.
Train employees: Lead and guide employees through a process in which they are taught the necessary skills for the perspective job. Organise activities aimed at introducing the work and systems or improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings.
Apply control process statistical methods: Apply statistical methods from Design of Experiments (DOE) and Statistical Process Control (SPC) in order to control manufacturing processes.
Ensure products meet regulatory requirements: Study, implement, and monitor the integrity and compliance of products with the required regulatory aspects by law. Advise on applying and abiding by regulations on the product and manufacturing regulations.
Write records for repairs: Write records of the repairs and maintenance interventions undertaken, of parts and materials used, and other repair facts.

ISCO group and title

3122 – Manufacturing supervisors





  1. Production supervisor – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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