For many people, working as a food production supervisor may not be the most glamorous job in the world. But – bear with this analogy for a second – the role of production supervisor in the food industry is akin to the role of sugar in cakes. It adds to the flavor, gives a soft texture, and keeps the cake from spoiling too quickly – and you never give it a second thought!
Likewise, a food production manager plays many roles in the processing of almost all packaged food products you buy at the supermarket. They are responsible for the operating activities of food products and production of outputs in a way to gain maximum efficiency at acceptable cost.
To be more precise, a food production supervisor may also be responsible for quality control of the entire food processing facility or an assembly line within the facility. And they can be paid fairly well, too. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for production supervisors in a food processing company is about $58,000 in 2019.
Skills and Qualifications Required to Become a Food Production Supervisor
Most employers in this industry look for a candidate who has managerial experience as well as food production experience. A bachelor’s degree is fundamental and if you have studied manufacturing engineering or food science engineering, you’ll definitely have an advantage over other candidates.
Why? Because this position will involve designing the processing equipment or overseeing daily operations of food processing. This is why any type of experience in food production is preferred by the employers.
If you are still in high school, consider taking chemistry, biology, agricultural education, and mathematics courses. Then a bachelor’s degree in food engineering, food science, industrial engineering, or business is all you’d need to get a job as a production manager for companies like PepsiCo or Nestle!
Responsibilities of a Food Production Supervisor
Generally speaking, your main responsibility would be to help a food manufacturing company with its production goals and objectives. You will need to ensure the plant workers you (your company) hire are well-trained, proper quality control is practiced, new changes in the food packaging are adhered to, and so on.
Every food manufacturing and packaging company employs hundreds – if not thousands – of workers. You would need to make sure proper workplace safety is practiced at your plant. For example, the employees who perform dangerous jobs must be wearing protective clothing.
Your job may include overseeing repair and maintenance contractors. You would also need to inspect the raw materials to ensure they meet your firm’s quality standards.
Is it exciting to be a production supervisor in the food industry?
Do you like interacting with people from all walks of life? Do you feel accomplished when someone uses/eats what you created (or at least had a hand in creating it)? Do you dream about joining a leading food company that gave you your childhood’s best treats (say, Pop Tarts, Cheetos, or Oreos)?
If yes, then you are going to love working as a food production supervisor! This is a job that can be truly fulfilling if you are passionate about anything and everything food related, from how does it get made to how more appealing flavors can be developed to enrich the people’s food choices.