How Can I Become a Chemical Plant Manager?

Research what it takes to become a chemical plant manager. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Chemical Plant Manager?

Chemical plant managers supervise the daily workings of plants that specialize in making and distributing chemicals. They determine how best to meet production goals, hire and train employees and ensure that the workers and plant comply with all safety standards. They also have some administrative duties, such as monitoring timelines and budgets, analyzing data on production and producing production reports. These professionals must also make the tough calls like when overtime work is necessary and when new machines are needed. Chemical plant managers are responsible for making the production process as efficient as possible and correcting any issues or problems that may arise. Learn more about training requirements, salary information and employment outlook from the following table.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Chemistry
Business management
Key Skills Organization and managerial skills, supply-chain knowledge
Job Growth (2014-2024) -4% (for all industrial production managers)*
Average Salary (2015) $103,720 (for all industrial production managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties of a Chemical Plant Manager

While working as the manager of a chemical plant, you are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations involved in producing and distributing chemicals. You will typically find a position working at a plant that focuses on manufacturing a particular type of chemical product, such as synthetic materials, basic chemicals, paint, agricultural chemicals or adhesives. Each type of specific chemical product uses different elements and manufacturing processes.

Your duties as a chemical plant manager may include estimating production costs and coordinating operations. You may be responsible for hiring crew, disciplining employees, performing feasibility studies, maintaining order in the workplace, and ensuring that production deadlines and company goals are met.

Education or Training Requirements

If you are interested in becoming a chemical plant manager, you may need to complete a 4-year bachelor's degree program in business, chemistry or a similar technical discipline. Some manufacturing companies may hire you with a vocational degree in the field, but many require that you have at least a bachelor's degree.

A Bachelor of Science in Business Management ensures you have an understanding of business operations, accounting, marketing, human resources management and information technology. A Bachelor of Science in Chemistry offers you an understanding of chemical properties, chemical processes and chemical reactions. Some schools allow you to major in chemistry with a concentration in business and industry, which can better prepare you for a position as a chemical plant manager.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial production managers earned a mean hourly wage of $49.87 (www.bls.gov) and a mean annual salary of $103,720 in 2015.

Job Outlook

The BLS reported that employment for industrial production managers is predicted to decline four percent between 2014 and 2024. Technological advances in automation and foreign competition are expected to squeeze out some U.S. jobs in the field.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are several related jobs that require a bachelor's degree, including sales managers and construction managers. Sales managers train and motivate teams of sales representatives for an organization. They also analyze sales data and help create strategic plans to boost profits. Construction managers oversee different construction projects from the beginning all the way to completion. They monitor the budget, coordinate construction workers and ensure the project is finished on time.

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