What Does a Plant Supervisor Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 26 December 2018
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A plant supervisor manages operations at a physical plant like a college campus, or oversees activities at facilities that manufacture products. The specifics of the job can depend on where a plant supervisor works, and the education and experience requirements expected by employers may vary. This is typically a full time position and it may come with benefits like health care, and paid vacation time. Resources for job listings can include trade publications, job announcement boards, or internal hiring newsletters at a company.

In the case of a physical plant supervisor, the job involves keeping all systems running smoothly and appropriately. This can include heating and cooling along with other mechanical systems, in addition to keeping buildings and grounds in good condition. The plant supervisor manages a support staff that may include groundskeepers, equipment technicians, cleaners, and people to perform jobs like painting and repairs. Communication skills are important to organize schedules and delegate tasks.


Maintenance is the responsibility of the plant supervisor, who may need to establish schedules for routine maintenance to keep the facility in good working order. People can also call in reports on damage or other issues, in which case a technician may need to be dispatched to determine the nature of the problem and resolve it. Plant supervisors also work with event planners to discuss facility needs and make any necessary changes to prepare for an event. For example, a lawn might need to be re-turfed in preparation for an outdoor concert, or the plant supervisor might need to move equipment out of a room to make it available for use.

Electrical plant supervisors make sure the equipment at a generation and processing facility works correctly and can meet the demand from customers. They can work with coal, nuclear, hydro, and other power sources and need to be familiar with the equipment and the distribution process. In addition to keeping equipment functional, scheduling staff, and handling emergencies, the plant supervisor may also be in charge of safety and could monitor the conditions of the physical plant as well. This can include cleaning schedules, painting, and other maintenance to keep the facility in good shape.

Manufacturing plants also have a call for supervisors. These members of the staff can establish schedules, assign workers, and monitor tasks on the line. They work with company representatives to determine what should be manufactured and in what volume, and may also establish safety protocols, monitor quality, and engage in other activities to support manufacturing operations.



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