Workshop Controllers (also referred to as foremen) are senior engineers responsible for overseeing the work taking place in a workshop. Typically, these positions are most seen in the automotive industry. It is their job to ensure and maintain high standards of work among their subordinates as well as ensure the development and training of junior members of the team.

This role is heavily interwoven with other parts of a business’ operation. To perform their role to a high standard, a Workshop Controller must co-ordinate well with all other areas of the business. Workshop controllers are often authority figures within an organisation who foster strong relationships with their colleagues and who can lead their team to achieve the business goals.

In this blog from BMR Solutions, we discuss the role of workshop controller – referring to key responsibilities, necessary skills, salary and required experience to complete this job to its fullest.

What are the Responsibilities of a Workshop Controller?

The role of a workshop controller encompasses several responsibilities, these include:

  • Leading a team of engineers
  • Assigning work within the workshop
  • Quality assuring the work of their colleagues in the workshop
  • Controlling and ordering the parts available in the workshop
  • Providing training and guidance to junior members of the team
  • Ensuring all health and safety measures are met in the workshop

What Skills Should a Workshop Controller Have?

As previously mentioned, the responsibilities of a workshop controller do vary from role to role, but to ensure the smooth running of the workshop, a workshop controller will need:

Computer Skills

Having a good grasp on computer systems is essential for this role, possessing the ability to use computer systems to order new parts and machinery. Using diagnostic tools is required in many industries. Having a qualification in this field can be advantageous.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

Building a good rapport with your colleagues and subordinates is vital to being successful in this role. Being able to communicate clearly and efficiently with your team as well as the wider business will help to make your team more productive and lead to less mistakes and wastage being made.

Attention to Detail

As you will be assessing other people’s work you will need to be able to spot small mistakes that could lead to larger issues in the future. You need to ensure that you are correctly ordering the necessary parts needed for the workshop, thus allowing for good inventory management.

Understanding of Health and Safety Legislation and Regulations

Workshops can be very dangerous if rigorous health and safety measures are not put into place. Knowing what the regulations are and how to best manage dangerous situations when the need arises will help you to succeed in the role.


Being able to foster a collaborative, team working atmosphere will help you to manage your team more efficiently and will lead to a more productive workshop. This will help your business to achieve its goals

Time Management

To keep both your company and clients happy, you will be responsible for managing many deadlines and ensuring that they’re met with minimal disruption. Having good time management of not only yourself but your team will help you be successful in this role.

Customer Service

Being in a leadership role within the workshop will mean that you will often have to deal with other stakeholders in the business. You will also, however, need to liaise with clients when a problem occurs. Having good customer service skills will help you to manage these situations effectively.

What Qualifications and Experience Does a Workshop Controller Need?

You do not necessarily have to have been a workshop controller previously to get the role. One of the main requirements to get the role is to have a good background in engineering or mechanics.

More experience and qualifications tend to be required for senior roles leading larger teams, and some businesses even require degree level qualifications (but this does depend on the role).

For some workshops having a forklift or advanced driving licence (with HGV) can be advantageous but is not essential for the industry.

Find your Next Production Workshop Controller Role with BMR Solutions

If you’re looking for a workshop controller role, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with BMR Solutions.

As specialists working in the South West, we are on hand to help and advise talented candidates find the right role for them. With a network of valuable connections and local links, our clients receive access to all the best opportunities for their desired role.

To speak to a member of our team about how we can help you take the next step in your career, contact us today. Alternatively, you can submit your CV online and our team will get to work finding the right opportunities for you.

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