Production Manager Kaiwhakahaere Whakaputa

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Personal Qualities

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.


Production managers need to have:

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


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.

Subject Recommendations

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.

Related Courses

Production Managers can earn around $65K-$100K per year.

Pay for production managers varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Production managers with one to five years' experience usually earn $65,000 to $100,000 a year.
  • Senior production managers may earn between $100,000 and $130,000.

Sources: Madison, 'NZ Employment Market Report', 2020; and Michael Page, 'New Zealand Salary Benchmark', 2020.

Production managers may progress into general management roles or take up a similar position in another industry.

They may also specialise in a role such as:

Production Planner
Production planners help ensure their factories run smoothly by working out timetables and keeping necessary supplies in stock.
Quality Manager
Quality managers are responsible for ensuring products meet relevant quality standards and legislation, for setting up quality assessment systems, and improving product quality.
Technical Manager
Technical managers are responsible for the quality and performance of technology in the workplace.


Years Of Training

1-3 years of training usually required.

To become a production manager you need to have experience working in a related role such as production planner 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.
Production Manager