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Production Manager

Kaiwhakahaere Whakaputa

Alternative titles for this job

Production managers organise and control the production process in a factory. They ensure that products are made to the right specifications and are ready on time and within budget.


Production managers usually earn

$80K-$150K per year

Source: Lawson Williams, 2023.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a production manager are average due to changing demand for their services.


Pay for production managers varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Production managers with one to two years' experience usually earn $80,000 to $95,000 a year.
  • Production managers with three to six years' experience usually earn $90,000 to $120,000.
  • Production managers with over seven years' experience can earn $115,000 to $150,000.

Source: Lawson Williams Consulting Group, 2023.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Production managers may do some or all of the following:

  • order and co-ordinate materials, supplies and equipment
  • set production goals, timetables and budgets
  • evaluate production processes, and report on production results
  • manage repairs, testing and upgrading of equipment
  • develop new products or production processes
  • recruit and train new production staff
  • meet with clients or customers
  • maintain safety standards in the factory.

Skills and knowledge

Production managers need to have:

  • financial and budgeting skills
  • skill in analysing information and figures
  • knowledge of employment relations laws.

Working conditions

Production managers:

  • work regular business hours or do shift work, which may include nights and weekends
  • are usually based in an office or on the factory floor
  • may work in conditions that are hot and noisy
  • may travel locally or nationally to meet new customers or suppliers.

Entry requirements

To become a production manager you need to have experience working in a related role such as production planner, production supervisor, operations manager or technical manager.

Employers may also prefer you to have a tertiary qualification, such as a certificate or diploma, in one of the following areas:

  • engineering or manufacturing technology 
  • food technology 
  • purchasing and materials management
  • quality assurance
  • supply chain management or warehouse logistics.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a production manager. However, business studies, chemistry, maths with statistics and/or calculus, and processing technologies are useful.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Quality Manager

To specialise as a quality manager, it is recommended you complete a diploma in quality assurance.

Technical Manager

To specialise as a technical manager, a tertiary qualification in an area relevant to the industry you work in, such as engineering, is preferred.

Personal requirements

Production managers need to be:

  • friendly and patient
  • organised and good at planning
  • good at making decisions and solving problems
  • excellent at communicating
  • good at leading people
  • able to work well under pressure, and deal with conflict.

Useful experience

Useful experience for production managers includes:

  • experience in the industry that you want to work in
  • management or engineering experience
  • work in a factory or office.


Production managers may choose to become certified through the NZ Association for Operations & Supply Chain Professionals (NZPICS), which offers modules in all aspects of production management and planning.

Find out more about training

0800 526 1800 - -
NZ Association for Operations & Supply Chain Professionals (NZPICS)
(09) 525 1525 - -
NZ Organisation for Quality
(06) 351 4407 - -
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Expanding manufacturing sector improves outlook

Job opportunities for production managers have increased as the manufacturing sector is producing more.

Seek reports advertisements for production managers have doubled in the three months to May 2023.

However, a drop in new orders could reduce this demand, as this role can be affected by economic conditions. 

According to the Census, 7,977 production managers worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Opportunities best for production managers with managerial or trades skills

Your chances of securing a production manager job are best if you have:

  • management experience and qualifications
  • trades experience and qualifications such as mechanical engineering
  • experience in the manufacturing process.

 Types of employers varied

Most manufacturing companies have a production manager. In small companies, the job may be combined with another role such as team administrator.


  • BNZ, 'Performance of Manufacturing Index', accessed May 2023, (
  • RNZ, 'Manufacturing Sector Expands in January After Three Months of Contraction - Index', 10 February 2023, (
  • Seek, 'Production Manager', accessed May 2023, (
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
  • Todkar, V, general manager, NZ Association for Operations and Supply Chain Professionals, interview, April 2021.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Production managers may progress into general management roles or take up similar positions in other industries.

They may also specialise in a role such as:

Production Planner
Production planners help ensure factories run smoothly by working out timetables and keeping necessary supplies in stock.
Production Supervisor
Production supervisors manage teams in factories or manufacturing workplaces.
Quality Manager
Quality managers ensure products meet relevant quality standards, set up quality assessment systems, and improve product quality.
Technical Manager
Technical managers are responsible for checking, maintaining and upgrading technology in production workplaces.


A production manager talking to a quality manager and technical manager at a factory

Production managers work with other staff to evaluate production processes and report on production results

Last updated 27 November 2023