What Are the Duties of an Operations Director?

An operations director can help a business or organization remain viable by staying focused on business goals and changing with future demands in a legal and efficient manner. These professionals often work for healthcare facilities, non-profit organizations, and for-profit businesses, and their duties vary by setting. Keep reading to find out the duties and requirements of operations directors in these work environments. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Operations Director Overview

Operations directors play a crucial role in a number of organizations, optimizing efficiency and ensuring cohesiveness. Although most professionals will have a similar core set of duties, an operations director's responsibilities will often vary based on the field in which he or she works.

Important Facts About Operations Directors

Required Education Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's degree preferred
Work Environment Office setting
Similar Occupations Executive director, program manager, operations supervisor
Median Pay (2018) $100,930 (for general and operations managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% (for general and operations managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Responsibilities by Industry

Listed below are three sectors in which operations directors might work, as well as the specific duties that each sector entails:

Healthcare Facility

Healthcare facilities can be large or small, but they always need competent management to keep them running smoothly. Operations directors for these facilities usually have experience in both nursing and management. According to December 2015 listings on CareerBuilder.com, employers require candidates to have experience in a healthcare facility setting, and degrees in nursing or related fields are highly preferred. Some employers may also require candidates to be certified as a registered nurse (RN).

Your duties as an operations director for a healthcare facility are broad and include supervising all facets of the operation. You'll oversee strategic planning, budgetary concerns, policy development, employee relations, and customer services. You may also hire, train, and evaluate staff members.

Non-Profit Organization

Non-profit organizations need operations managers who understand the organizational and community missions of a non-profit. You will be responsible for recruiting not only salaried employees but in some cases, volunteers. You might also help with applicant screenings in order to deliver services. The day-to-day and long-term organizational objectives will be your main focus. You'll also create and implement policies and procedures, manage budgets, develop relations with employees, and plan for future organizational development.

According to December 2015 CareerBuilder.com job listings, non-profit organizations that are hiring operations directors are looking for someone with education and professional experience in the organization's industry. For example, a non-profit organization that provides social services might hire an applicant who is a licensed social worker. Employers also prefer candidates at least two years of management or leadership experience.


For-profit organizations, such as restaurants or clothing stores, hire operations managers to take charge of a geographic region. You'll be responsible for a number of franchises, working with either managers or independent franchisees. As the operations manager, you will be the direct liaison and company representative, helping to reinforce established policies and implement new policies. You will provide assistance for day-to-day operations, make sure that quality standards are upheld, and gauge profits based on franchise performance.

Businesses typically prefer operations directors to have bachelor's or master's degrees in business administration or related fields, like management. Depending on the industry, you may qualify for employment with other related degrees. With a degree in hospitality science, for example, you might work as an operations director for a hotel chain. These professionals must also have extensive management experience.

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