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Job Description of a Technical Supervisor

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Technical supervisors provide hands-on leadership for staff members working in any number of industries -- wherever technical work is performed -- such as laboratory and test environments, manufacturing, information technology, telecommunications, engineering and architecture. Supervisors typically get their start as technicians. They know how to do the jobs their employees are doing and use this knowledge to train staff members, validate that work is performed accurately, analyze errors and resolve problems.

Skilled Leadership

Technical supervisors lead teams of skilled technicians. These supervisors make sure procedures are followed effectively and under properly controlled conditions. In testing environments, technical supervisors check the accuracy of results and verify that equipment and tools are working properly and calibrated to the degree of precision required. In production environments, they validate the quality of work and make sure machines are running efficiently.

Hiring, Evaluating and Improving Personnel

Technical supervisors interview candidates for new positions and either hire or make hiring recommendations. These supervisors must transition new employees to the job, observe all employees at work, and evaluate performance. They provide coaching and establish training plans, and then assess the effectiveness of both efforts based on recognized performance changes. When an employee's work is not up to standard and does not improve, this supervisor follows company protocols with the manager and human resources to formalize personnel improvement plans.

Matching Employees' Skills to the Job

Technical supervisors pay close attention to details but also see how the details come together to form a broader picture. These professionals are comfortable multitasking and effective at organizing work assignments. Candidates pursuing this role should have the ability to create work plans supporting research, development, testing and project assignments. The supervisor reviews project requirements and specifications, and then matches employees to tasks and jobs based on skills and competencies.


Technical supervisors must have have a sufficient level of education and training in their field of work, in addition to work experience as a technician. In a health care laboratory, where patient tests are performed, the technical supervisor must hold a degree as a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy and be licensed to practice in the state where the lab work is done. At the other end of the spectrum, supervisors of mechanics typically only need postsecondary certification.

Architectural and Engineering Managers salary

  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $208,000 ($100/hour)
  • Median Annual Salary: $149,530 ($71.89/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $95,310 ($45.82/hour)

A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.

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