Production coordinators are responsible for ensuring that the schedules for product manufacturing are adhered to. They create the most efficient use of machinery, material, and, most importantly, employees. After the master production plan is designed by the company's management team, coordinators are responsible for the implementation of the plan. They are responsible for making sure the target dates set forth in the master plan are met on time. They must verify that the company has enough production materials on hand at all times to complete their manufacturing goals. In smaller companies, coordinators are responsible for work schedules, work orders, and department supervisors.
Production coordinators monitor the status of projects that are underway, usually with computerized tracking systems. They create reports based on their observations throughout the entire manufacturing process. Sometimes they suggest new materials to be used in the process. They may alter work schedules or arrange for overtime to better comply with the master plan. They are responsible for maintaining detailed records of the production process and communicating with the various manufacturing departments. They serve as liaisons between these departments and company management. The majority of their duties involve data collection, reporting, and analysis. They spend a great deal of time walking around the plant, talking with various employees. The rest of their time is spent preparing reports and meeting with managers.
Production coordinators should be able to handle a great deal of stress and still maintain good health and stamina. They should be excellent communicators because most of their time is spent either talking with people or writing reports. They should have an analytical mind and be masters of problem-solving.
Wages vary greatly depending on experience and the size of the company. Entry-level workers usually earn between $6 and $14 per hour. Workers with more experience can earn between $7 and $17 per hour. Those who have at least 3 years of experience can earn between $8 and $25 per hour. While they often work a standard 40-hour work week, they are often required to work extra and irregular hours. In these situations, they earn overtime pay. Benefits usually include paid vacations, holidays, sick leave, and insurance.
Training and Education
Most production coordinators have at least a high school diploma. Useful high school courses include machine shop, mathematics, and science. Some employers require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in business with courses in business administration and data processing. Those who have good computer and analytical skills usually have an advantage in the hiring process. Some workers are promoted to this position from within the company's own departments, such as the manufacturing department, production control department, assembly department, engineering, and machine shop departments. Many employers offer on-the-job training to selected employees. Advancement usually comes in the form of increased salary and responsibility. Some workers advance into managerial positions, supervisory positions, or master scheduler positions. Visit this page about trade schools for more information on related careers.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of production coordinators is expected to increase about as fast as the average. Increased automation is not expected to adversely affect the employment of coordinators. The formation of new manufacturing companies and the restructuring of existing companies into more formalized management systems will increase the demand for production coordinators.