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.
Sample of reported job titles: Assembly Supervisor, Line Supervisor, Manufacturing Supervisor, Molding Supervisor, Plant Supervisor, Production Manager, Production Supervisor, Quality Assurance Supervisor (QA Supervisor)
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Enforce safety and sanitation regulations.
- Keep records of employees’ attendance and hours worked.
- Inspect materials, products, or equipment to detect defects or malfunctions.
- 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.
- 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.
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- Analytical or scientific software — Minitab
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Database software ; Microsoft Access ; Microsoft Total Quality Control Management
- Electronic mail software — Email software; IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange ; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Aptean Made2Manage; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ; SAP ; Technology Group International Enterprise 21 ERP (see all 18 examples)
- Financial analysis software — Delphi Technology
- Human resources software — GHG Clockwise
- Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Internet browser software — Apple Safari; Google Chrome; Microsoft Internet Explorer; Mozilla Firefox
- Inventory management software
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Integrated materials management systems; Materials management software; QA Software QMS Materials Management
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — HCSS HeavyJob; Microsoft Project ; Total quality management TQM software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Time accounting software — Kronos Workforce Timekeeper; Timekeeping software; Work Technology WorkTech Time
- Word processing software — Apple Pages; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Enforce rules or regulations.
- Record operational or production data.
- Inspect production equipment.
- Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.
- Plan production or operational procedures or sequences.
- Exchange information with colleagues.
- Instruct workers to use equipment or perform technical procedures.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
- Confer with others to resolve production problems or equipment malfunctions.
- Evaluate employee performance.
- Calculate specific material, equipment, or labor requirements for production.
- Advise others on ways to improve processes or products.
- Determine metal or plastic production methods.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
- Install equipment attachments or components.
- Perform human resources activities.
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- Contact With Others — 90% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 83% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 54% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 51% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 50% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 38% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 33% responded “About half the time.”
- Public Speaking — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 26% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 27% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 27% responded “Never.”
- Level of Competition — 40% responded “Highly competitive.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|33||High school diploma or equivalent
|15||Some college, no degree|
|14||Less than high school diploma|
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Interest code: ERC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$30.22 hourly, $62,850 annual|
|Employment (2020)||616,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Slower than average (1% to 5%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||63,400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Foundry Society
- American Society for Quality
- Flexographic Technical Association
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- North American Die Casting Association
- Society of Plastics Engineers
- Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry
- United Steelworkers
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