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Manufacturing & Production careers

Factory Floor Staff, Supervisor & Management

Why get into factory floor staffing?

Not everything in a factory can be done by robots, machines and computer numerical control (CNC) operators. Consequently, there are a number of different operational roles and graduate jobs you can undertake in the non-stop, exciting world of manufacturing and production.

A huge wealth of operational staff, supervisors and managers are required to get things done, keep production organised and make sure everything is safe.

What do I need to work on a factory floor?

Factories are pretty hectic places. Many operate on a 24-hour production basis. Therefore, all factory floor staff, supervisors and managers need to approach their work in a methodical, focused and purposeful way. There’s no time for messing about and spinning round and round on an office chair here! 

Understandably, factory managers and supervisors are the guys in charge. Consequently, they need to be able to take the lead and encourage their teams of factory floor staff like Mr Motivator on a particularly good day.

Getting things produced, sorted, assembled, tweaked, packed and ready for distribution is all about teamwork and communication. Everyone needs to pull their own weight and get stuff done. Collaboration is truly the key to achieving manufacturing and production success!

To work in this area, you are going to have to find ways of keeping your concentration and staying determined at all times, as you may often be under pressure to meet production deadlines. Furthermore, you may have to work unsociable hours and do repetitive tasks.

What roles are needed on the factory floor?

The factory manager (a.k.a. operations manager) is the big dog of the operational side of factory work. These guys oversee all things operational and manage all the employees that are responsible for assembling products, packing boxes and driving forklift trucks.

They might even be responsible for liaising with external logistic companies and other people involved in distribution. They man-manage, have budget control and make sure the engineers and factory floor staff are performing at an optimal level. Essentially, they are in charge of keeping everyone motivated, happy and satisfied with their work - no mean feat, as you can imagine!

The factory manager works alongside the production manager and together they make a pretty awesome double act. They may not fight crime like Batman and Robin or deliver fantastic comedy sketches like Morecambe and Wise, but the world of manufacturing and production would certainly be a chaotic mess without them.

The factory floor staff are the hands-on dynamos of the business. They make things happen. This might mean working in the production line or providing assistance to engineers and other more senior staff in the factory. A lot of the time, you’ll work on the same project or task for prolonged periods of time, but it can be fun and interesting to see how the factory operates and how the engineers and production managers work.

Supervisors have a similar role to that of the factory manager and will often be employed alongside factory managers in larger facilities to provide extra managerial support. More than anything, their main aim is to supervise factory floor staff.

Reckon you could floor a career in this subsector? If so, perhaps you should take a closer look into factory floor staff, supervisor and management careers!