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Works Manager Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Works Manager. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Works Manager
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Works Manager Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

The following description is an overview of what the above job position entails, what kind of salary you can expect, what hours are involved in carrying out the work, where you can find additional information about the job in both web and trade publication formats and the required skills that may help you in looking for employment in this particular field.

Works Manager - An Overview:

The role of a works manager is often a first general management step for graduates in a manufacturing setting, and could also be known as a factory or operations manager.

Much of the work involves full operational control over what happens at the works including engineering, output, personnel and often logistics and other commercial activity (sales and marketing).

What does the role encounter?

A works manager’s work includes:

• reviewing and approving plans for the control of planned output, budget spending, material efficiency, engineering effectiveness, and human resources;
• supervising and managing employees;
• establishing strong working relations with other functional managers;
• reporting regularly to the production manager.
• Those working in this role may have existing experience, which could include attachments or longer spells of working in different job functions; it will not always be the case, therefore, that a plant/works manager will necessarily have spent all or most of his/her prior career within the production function.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Typical starting salaries: £16,000 - £22,000 for a production planner; £12,000 - £20,000 for a materials controller; and up to £27,000 for an inventory controller.
• For experienced works managers, salaries are in the £25,000 - £61,000 range.
• Salary will vary according to the size of the organisation, the type of business and its geographical location.
• Generally speaking, hi-tech companies pay higher salaries than those available in more traditional industries.

What type of hours will I have to work?

This is in no sense a nine to five job and you may well have to work shifts and unsocial hours, especially in the early stages of your career. You may also need to work extended hours, particularly if there are tight deadlines to be met or new systems to be introduced. You could be on call at weekends or public holidays to deal with problems. In small enterprises you will spend considerable amounts of time on the shop floor supervising staff, where the environment can be both quiet and pleasant, or noisy and dirty, depending on the nature of the organisation.

Opportunities for self-employment are limited, but people with considerable expertise in production management are sometimes engaged as consultants to help industries implement new manufacturing and production systems. Production management is often seen as a male-dominated profession, but the number of females entering the profession is rising, notably in the food, electronics and textile industries. Most works managers tend to be based on one site, but some are responsible for operations in a number of locations and will be required to travel and spend time away from home.

What type of skills will I need?

In addition to technical qualifications and experience you will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• ability to think on your feet;
• ability to act decisively;
• ability to grasp concepts easily;
• problem-solving capabilities;
• ICT literacy;
• ability to communicate clearly and persuasively;
• good organisational skills;
• willingness to accept responsibility;
• ability to work under pressure and to deadlines;
• good physical health;
• ability to motivate others;
• self-confidence;
• ability to work in a logical, systematic manner;
• good judgement;
• common sense.

What type of training will I receive?

Many larger companies offer a graduate management training scheme, which combines work experience in different parts of the organisation (including production management) with training, which may be in-house, by distance learning or involving study at an educational institution. Certain degree and HND courses include industrial placements. One favoured route for those working in industry is to study for the professional qualifications offered by The Institute of Operations Management (IOM). These include:

• the Certificate in Operations Management, which provides a foundation course for those progressing to the Diploma;
• the Diploma in Operations Management, which is aimed at young professional managers working in the field, developing knowledge and understanding of the practical areas of production management and awareness of the human and financial issues found in modern organisations;
• the Advanced Diploma in Operations Management, which is designed to combine a broad foundation in research and project techniques with a specific applied research investigation.

Career Progression:

Graduates often start off as graduate trainees and gain experience in a number of different aspects of production management (such as materials management, inventory control, configuration analysis, production control, purchasing management) before moving on to become production supervisor or shift manager.

Some production managers eventually assume a more strategic role and become involved with long-term planning rather than day-to-day operations. There are often opportunities to move into general management. In larger organisations a production manager may well be responsible for production on a number of sites, and opportunities to set up and manage operations overseas may arise with multinational firms.

What Sort Of Industries Have A Requirement For This Type Of Job?

Almost all manufacturing industries employ works managers. Some example industries are:

• Food processing.
• Pharmaceuticals.
• Automobile.
• Aerospace and Defence.
• Electronics.
• Chemical Engineering.
• Mechanical Engineering.
• Printing Industry.
• Textiles.
• Ceramics.

Are Their Related Types Of Jobs?

Yes. This list is not exhaustive but here are some similar and associated types of role:

Distribution/logistics manager
Manufacturing engineer
Manufacturing systems engineer
Materials engineer
Operational researcher
Plant/works manager
Process engineer
Production supervisor
Quality assurance manager.

What trade magazines or publications are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Control Magazine.
Electronics Times.
Electronics Manufacturing Products.
Inside Careers: Engineering and Technology.
Inside Careers: Logistics and Transport Management.
Production Engineering Solutions.

Where can I find further information?

Further information can be found by visiting any of the following bodies and organisations the addresses and their respective websites are:

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
Management House, Cottingham Road, Corby, Northants NN17 1TT
Tel: 01536 204 222

Engineering Council UK (ECUK)
10 Maltravers St, London WC2R 3ER
Tel: 020 7240 7891

Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)
1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD
Tel: 020 7294 2470

The Institute of Operations Management (IOM)
The University of Warwick Science Park, Sir William Lyons Road, Coventry CV4 7FZ
Tel: 024 7669 2266

SEMTA: the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP
Tel: 020 7222 0464

Other Useful Works Manager Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Works Manager job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Works Manager Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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