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Plant Manager Training Programs and Courses

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in industrial technology train students for leadership positions within industrial, manufacturing and production plants. Learn about required courses, career options and continuing education opportunities for prospective plant managers.

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Essential Information

Aspiring plant managers can receive training through associate's and bachelor's degree programs in industrial technology. Both the 2-year associate's and 4-year bachelor's degree programs combine technical training with courses in business management. Students also get information on some basic engineering principles, and bachelor's degree students may get hands-on experience through design projects.


Associate's Degree in Industrial Technology

Those who aspire to become plant managers may wish to enroll in an associate's degree program for industrial technology, which usually lead to an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. These programs cover general education topics as well as specialized training courses in mechanical engineering technology, operations management and industrial technology. This background can lead to entry-level production jobs or further schooling, such as through a 4-year college program.

Most associate's degree programs in this field do not mandate specific educational prerequisites. However, some of them prefer prospective students who hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to applying for admission.

Program Coursework

The curriculum in these programs tends to cover subjects within the academic categories of engineering, technology and business management. Classes commonly offered discuss:

  • Introduction to manufacturing operations
  • Facilities planning and operations
  • Inventory management strategies
  • Introduction to systems and cost analysis
  • Fundamentals of team management

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment opportunities for industrial production managers are predicted to grow by about nine percent during the 2010-2020 decade. Industrial production managers earned a mean yearly salary of $97,490, according to the same source in 2012 (www.bls.gov).


Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology

The primary goal of most bachelor's degree programs in industrial technology is to provide students with both technical training and managerial education. Many of these programs combine classroom teaching methods in areas such as statistics and planning with hands-on instruction via seminars and design projects. Concentrations may be available, such as manufacturing or mechanics.

Although it is not normally a requirement for admission, applicants with an associate's degree may graduate sooner by transferring credits to a bachelor's degree program. There are usually no additional education prerequisites for entrance into these programs beyond a high school diploma or GED certificate; however, applicants demonstrating aptitude in math and science may be preferred.

Program Coursework

Lessons teach supervisory and leadership strategies, technical engineering theories and real-world applications. Coursework often addresses:

  • Technical writing specifications
  • Applied electronics and engineering design graphic
  • Quality and safety management in manufacturing
  • Facilities design and efficient process flow methods
  • Human relations and organizational behavior

Popular Careers

A bachelor's degree in industrial production management normally leads to a career in manufacturing leadership; however, it can also lead to occupations that have a number of similar duties and responsibilities. In order to qualify for some of these jobs, candidates might need to complete additional courses or training programs. Options include:

  • Architectural assistant
  • Corporate and industrial trainer
  • Manager of inventory control and logistics
  • Material handling manager
  • Quality control manager

Continuing Education Information

There are a number of continuing education options for those who hold an undergraduate degree in industrial technology. Graduate degree programs in related fields are widely available, leading to such titles as Master of Engineering, Master of Science in Industrial Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management. For individuals seeking more career-focused educational programs or professionally recognized certification credentials, organizations like APICS The Association for Operations Management offer a wide variety of courses, seminars and certification exams.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics