Operations Analyst: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an operations analyst. Learn about job duties, education requirements and the job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Operations Analyst Do?

Operations analysts help organizations resolve a wide array of issues by collecting and evaluating performance data. As an operations analyst, your job duties will include gathering information for analysis, and analyzing that information to develop solutions for problems. You will be responsible for writing reports and advising managers on problem resolution.

The table below summarizes key career and salary facts.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree required, master's degree preferred
Education Field of Study Operations management, project management, engineering, computer science
Key Skills Information gathering, statistical analysis, computer modeling, written communication
Job Growth (2014-2024) 30%*
Average Salary (2015) $84,180*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Operations Analyst?

Working as an operations analyst, sometimes referred to as an operations research analyst, you may use various computer applications and methodologies to assess and develop solutions for organizations. You would evaluate problem areas, such as departmental performance, productivity or efficiency, and collect pertinent business-related information.

You may also use software and protocols, including statistical analysis, to analyze the issues and advise management. In some positions, you will also work with other analysts.

What Training Do I Need?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that while a bachelor's degree can be sufficient for many entry-level opportunities in this field, most employers prefer applicants with a master's degree. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available in operations research and related disciplines, such as the Bachelor of Science in Operations and Project Management. However, employers may also hire applicants with technical degrees in majors that include engineering, physics and computer science.

Studying operations research or related areas, you may cover topics such as linear programming, probability models, non-linear programming and survey sampling. Advanced educational training in integer programming, network flows, stochastic processes and combinatorial optimization may be offered through your graduate studies.

At either degree level, substantive coursework in mathematics, such as algebra, calculus and differential equations, is crucial. The BLS notes that staying current on technological and industry updates through continuing education is highly recommended.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The BLS predicted that employment for operations analysts would increase by 30% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the average salary for those professionals was $84,180. The BLS noted that the federal executive branch offered the highest average salary, at $110,600.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

With a bachelor's or master's degree, individuals can also become market research analysts or statisticians. Market research analysts collect data to prepare reports that companies use when developing marketing methods. Statisticians collect data and prepare reports to help solve problems in fields such as healthcare, business, government and marketing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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