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Career Profile: First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators. Excludes team or work leaders.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 616,800 people employed as first-line supervisors of production and operating workers in the United States. The median annual salary is $62,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $37,990 per year and senior employees earn approximately $102,510 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Confer with management or subordinates to resolve worker problems, complaints, or grievances.
  • Determine standards, budgets, production goals, and rates, based on company policies, equipment and labor availability, and workloads.
  • Calculate labor and equipment requirements and production specifications, using standard formulas.
  • Recommend or implement measures to motivate employees and to improve production methods, equipment performance, product quality, or efficiency.
  • Maintain operations data, such as time, production, and cost records, and prepare management reports of production results.
  • Requisition materials, supplies, equipment parts, or repair services.
  • Set up and adjust machines and equipment.
  • Recommend or execute personnel actions, such as hirings, evaluations, or promotions.
  • Plan and develop new products and production processes.
  • Read and analyze charts, work orders, production schedules, and other records and reports to determine production requirements and to evaluate current production estimates and outputs.
  • Plan and establish work schedules, assignments, and production sequences to meet production goals.
  • Confer with other supervisors to coordinate operations and activities within or between departments.
  • Interpret specifications, blueprints, job orders, and company policies and procedures for workers.
  • Observe work and monitor gauges, dials, and other indicators to ensure that operators conform to production or processing standards.
  • Direct and coordinate the activities of employees engaged in the production or processing of goods, such as inspectors, machine setters, or fabricators.
  • Conduct employee training in equipment operations or work and safety procedures, or assign employee training to experienced workers.
  • Evaluate employee performance.
  • Enforce safety and sanitation regulations.
  • Keep records of employees' attendance and hours worked.
  • Inspect materials, products, or equipment to detect defects or malfunctions.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
616,800
Annual Openings:
63,400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
4%
Annual Salary Range:
$37,990 - $102,510
Education Requirements:
High school diploma