Preparation to become a shop supervisor can include formal education, experience, or a combination of both. The requirements for open positions can depend on the type of shop and the work performed. Shop supervisors may manage manufacturing or production as well as repairs to automobiles, equipment, and furniture. They can also manage print shops and other graphic design facilities. Employers typically look for candidates with supervisory experience, industry-specific skills, and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Multilingual candidates may be preferred in some regions.
Education can include courses in a specific field that end in a certificate or degree. For a print shop supervisor, for example, a two or four year degree in graphic design may be helpful. Someone who plans to become a shop supervisor at a wood or metalworking facility might be better served by a two year certificate from a technical or trade school. Formal education can provide people with skills they need to work in supervisory positions, as well as a thorough knowledge and understanding of the industry.
Full supervisor positions are typically not open to people who only have degrees and no work experience. Graduates can apply for assistant supervisor positions to develop two to five years of experience they can use on job applications. Another way to become a shop supervisor is to train on the job, acquiring skills and working through a series of promotions to higher-ranking positions. Once people have some time on the job, they can apply to positions with other companies as they become available, citing their experience on their applications.
Some additional qualifications can help as someone prepares to become a shop supervisor. It may be necessary to have a commercial driver’s license or heavy equipment endorsement, along with a clean driving record. People with training in safety procedures and licenses to handle chemicals may be preferred for some positions, particularly if they are qualified to provide safety instruction to others. Membership in a union or trade organization can also be helpful.
Developing communication skills is also useful. Shop supervisors need to be able to quickly and accurately convey information, establish schedules, and work with employees as problems arise. Someone comfortable with a variety of people is better prepared to become a shop supervisor, as it may be easier to establish rapport with personnel at the facility. While being likeable isn’t a job requirement, it can be desired, and may be a consideration when companies prepare to promote staff.