What Is Operations Management?

Operations management involves the production of goods and services. Individuals who enter this field plan, direct, and coordinate the operations within a company or organization. Read on for more about this field. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Operations Management Definition

Operations managers dictate how facilities should be laid out, create policies, control inventory and distribution and organize employee schedules. Individuals who work in operations management have practical knowledge in a variety of areas, including quality management, project planning, economic decision making, human behavior analysis, operations research and supply chain management. Decisions made within the operations management department are filtered down through the rest of the company. Operations managers are responsible for making sure that a company is operating efficiently and showing economic growth.

Important Facts About Operations Management

Median Salary (2018) $100,930 per year for general and operations managers*
Required Education Bachelor's degree in business administration or related field
Work Environment Work for large and small companies, travel frequently, intense pressure to succeed
Professional Certification Optional Certified Manager (CM) credential through the Institute of Professional Managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


A degree in operations management offers students a comprehensive business education and is combined with real-world applications. Students are introduced to management concepts as applied to production and organizational processes. The curriculum includes courses in operations management principles, supply chain management and purchasing, production planning and quality management, financial management, statistical analysis, concepts in organizational behavior and global strategic management.


Graduates who enter this field need to have a strong understanding of human behavior, purchasing, logistics and production. They are also able to understand marketing, accounting and business decision-making. Individuals must know how to evaluate and analyze statistical data and use the information to improve efficiency within the company. Having strong written and verbal communication skills is beneficial in understanding the operations in different types of organizations.

Potential Careers

Careers in operations management can be found in nearly every industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected job opportunities for general and operations managers, a subset of top executives, to grow steadily at a rate of 9% from 2016 to 2026 (www.bls.gov). Lower-level career titles are also available, like those of controllers, facilities coordinators, logistics engineers, project managers and operations analysts.

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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