What's the Job Description of an Operations Manager?

Operations managers control the activities, finances, and overall direction of a business organization. Read on to find out about the duties and responsibilities, educational requirements, and employment statistics for operations managers. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

As an operations manager, also known as a general manager, your main tasks involve arranging, administering, and organizing the affairs of a business organization. This may include creating policies and supervising day-to-day activities as well as directing the distribution and usage of materials, human resources, and other business assets. Your administrative reach will tend to be broad and cover multiple areas like sales, finances, or purchasing. The scope of your specific duties is also highly dependent on the size and type of company for which you work, as well as the industry in which your company operates.

You will be a major decision-maker of the company, establishing business objectives and coordinating the activities and policies needed to achieve those goals. You may also supervise the company's workforce, which can involve delegating tasks to staff members and determining their work schedules. You may be in charge of analyzing data to find out which areas of the company need improvement. If your company is involved in retail, you could be responsible for deciding on new merchandise to sell and determining appropriate sales prices.

Important Facts About Operations Managers

Work Environment Office setting
Key Skills Communication, initiative, adaptability, problem-solving
Professional Certification Available through APICS
Similar Occupations Financial Manager, Marketing Manager

Educational Requirements

As with duties and responsibilities, the educational requirements to become an operations manager can vary greatly depending on the type of company for which you work. A small percentage have only a high school diploma; however, a degree in management, finance, business, or a major related to the company's industry may make you more attractive to possible employers.

Employment and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were over 2 million people employed as general and operations managers in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The average salary of these managers was $117,200; however, those working in certain industries received significantly higher salaries. For example, general and operations managers working for local governments earned on average $94,930 per year, while those in securities and commodities exchange earned on average $179,510 per year. The BLS projects that the employment of general and operations managers in all fields will likely grow by about 7% between 2014 and 2024, a rate consistent with the average for all occupations.

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