How do I Become a Shift Supervisor?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2020
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Shift supervisors are found in many corporate structures. Supervisors of this type may work in manufacturing plants, hospitals, and hotels, as well as other types of business settings. While different shift supervisor positions require some qualifications that are directly related to the business model of the employer, there are a few basic characteristics that anyone wishing to become this type of supervisor must possess.

Since many companies promote from within, you will have a better chance of being promoted to a supervisory position if you are already part of the company organization. By having an established track record with the company, you can bring to the table all the knowledge your currently have about the polices, procedures, and goals of your employer. This can provide you with an advantage over someone outside the firm, since they will not have the level of knowledge and experience with the company that you possess.

However, simply being an employee of the company is not enough to ensure you will become a shift supervisor. How you have handled your current job responsibilities will make a huge difference in whether or not you are considered for promotion to this type of position. Employees who are frequently absent or have histories of disciplinary problems are not likely to be considered, even if they’ve been with the company for years.


If you really want to become a shift supervisor, you must possess qualities that identify you as a solid leader. This means you must be organized, pay attention to detail, take action when and as necessary, and get along well with others. Supervisors also must be able to make decisions and stick with them, even when those decisions are difficult. This includes counseling an employee who has stepped out of line, or implementing disciplinary action up to and including termination if necessary.

In many company structures, shift supervisors report to departmental heads. This means that in order to become a shift supervisor, you must not only exhibit the ability to effectively lead the employees in your charge, but also to work closely and effectively with your immediate superior in the company framework. As part of the team with immediate responsibility for the efficient function of the production process, you must lead with apparent ease, but also follow with the same level of expertise.

When you decide that you want to become a shift supervisor, it is a good idea to begin your preparation well before a job opening materializes. Learn all you can about the supervisor description as it relates to the function of supervisors within the company. Tailor a supervisor resume so that it calls attention to your skills and knowledge as they relate to that description. Make it a point to demonstrate your leadership ability by participating in committees and other special events where company managers and overseers can watch you exhibit what they consider supervisory abilities.

Keep in mind it may take years to become a shift supervisor. However, if you prepare for the possibility in advance, there is a good chance your name will be on the short list for promotion. When this is the case, the company may decide it never has to go outside its existing employee base to fill a vacant shift supervisor position.


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