How Can I Become a Printing Plant Manager?

Explore the career requirements for printing plant managers. Get the facts about education requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Visual Communication degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Printing Plant Manager?

Printing plant managers oversee the staff and production of printing plants and are responsible for the plant's successful operation. This involves hiring and training workers, evaluating plant productions, and finding ways to make the production process as efficient as possible. As a manager of a production facility they must ensure that all employees are following safety procedures. In the event of a production problem, they need to be able to find and implement solutions. See the table below for some quick career facts about printing plant managers.

Education Required No standard, though a bachelor's degree is common; some advance to manager positions via work experience
Education Field of Study Industrial management, business administration or a similar field
Key Responsibilities Oversee the staff of a printing plant, ensure production procedures run smoothly, make sure safety protocols are followed and ensure deadlines and financial goals are met
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)* -4% for all industrial production managers
Median Salary (2015)* $93,940 for all industrial production managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Learn About the Industry

Publishing companies hire printing plant managers to oversee the production of newspapers, books and other printed materials. Five major types of processes are used to transfer type and images into multiple books or newspapers. These include letterpress, gravure, lithography, screen printing and flexography. Carrying out those processes often involves using large machines, expensive equipment and trained personnel.

Familiarize Yourself with the Work Involved

As a printing plant manager, you'll be responsible for overseeing the staff and production processes of a printing facility. You'll also be responsible for ensuring that daily production procedures run smoothly and that deadlines and expectations are met in a timely fashion. You must take care to diagnose any problems in the plant and solve them efficiently. You'll often report directly to corporate executives.

Some specific duties you might undertake as a printing plant manager include personnel management, training staff, standardizing improvement processes, ensuring preventive maintenance on machines and equipment, complying with safety regulations and audit standards, and ensuring that a plant meets its financial goals.

Get Training

No single educational path is specifically designated to prepare you for a printing plant manager position. You might achieve such a position by starting out as a production technician and working your way up to a managerial role. However, it's becoming more common for plant managers of various industries to have at least a bachelor's degree. Some bachelor's degree programs that might prepare you for a job as a printing plant manager include those related to industrial technology, industrial management, business administration or logistics.

If you choose to enroll in a degree program related to industrial management, you'll often be required to study such subjects as managerial accounting, mechanics, operations management, quality management, human resource management, and planning and scheduling.

What Kind of Salary Can I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial production managers in general held around 169,390 jobs in 2015. The employees in these positions, including printing plant managers, earned a median salary of $93,940 in that same year, with most earning between $56,640 and $162,240.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Though in a very different field, construction managers share many of the same administrative duties of printing plant managers. They must coordinate workers, plan budgets, supervise projects and ensure compliance with safety regulations. These professionals often have a bachelor's degree in construction science, construction management, architecture or engineering, though significant construction experience could suffice for some positions. Management analysts are professionals who study management. Based on their observations, they give advice on ways to make organizations more efficient and profitable. These professionals only need a bachelor's degree, though many have MBAs.

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