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Become An Operations Director

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Working As An Operations Director

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $87,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Operations Director Do

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Duties

Top executives typically do the following:

  • Establish and carry out departmental or organizational goals, policies, and procedures
  • Direct and oversee an organization’s financial and budgetary activities
  • Manage general activities related to making products and providing services
  • Consult with other executives, staff, and board members about general operations
  • Negotiate or approve contracts and agreements
  • Appoint department heads and managers
  • Analyze financial statements, sales reports, and other performance indicators
  • Identify places to cut costs and to improve performance, policies, and programs

The responsibilities of top executives largely depend on an organization’s size. For example, an owner or manager of a small organization, such as an independent retail store, often is responsible for purchasing, hiring, training, quality control, and day-to-day supervisory duties. In large organizations, however, top executives typically focus more on formulating policies and strategic planning, while general and operations managers direct day-to-day operations.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the private sector:

Chief executive officers (CEOs), who are also known by titles such as executive director, managing director, or president, provide overall direction for companies and organizations. CEOs manage company operations, formulate and implement policies, and ensure goals are met. They collaborate with and direct the work of other top executives and typically report to a board of directors.

Chief operating officers (COOs) oversee other executives who direct the activities of various departments, such as human resources and sales. They also carry out the organization’s guidelines on a day-to-day basis.

General and operations managers oversee operations that are too diverse and general to be classified into one area of management or administration. Responsibilities may include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources. They make staff schedules, assign work, and ensure that projects are completed. In some organizations, the tasks of chief executive officers may overlap with those of general and operations managers.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the public sector:

Mayors, along with governors, city managers, and county administrators, are chief executive officers of governments. They typically oversee budgets, programs, and the use of resources. Mayors and governors must be elected to office, whereas managers and administrators are typically appointed. 

Most educational systems, regardless of whether they are public or private school systems, also employ executive officers. The following are examples of top executives working in the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational school systems:

School superintendents and college or university presidents are chief executive officers of school districts and postsecondary schools. They manage issues such as student achievement, budgets and resources, general operations, and relations with government agencies and other stakeholders.

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How To Become An Operations Director

Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience. 

Education

Many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work. Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

College presidents and school superintendents are typically required to have a master’s degree, although a doctorate is often preferred.

Although many mayors, governors, or other public sector executives have at least a bachelor’s degree, these positions typically do not have any specific education requirements.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many top executives advance within their own firm, moving up from lower level managerial or supervisory positions. However, other companies may prefer to hire qualified candidates from outside their organization. Top executives who are promoted from lower level positions may be able to substitute experience for education to move up in the company. For example, in industries such as retail trade or transportation, workers without a college degree may work their way up to higher levels within the company to become executives or general managers.

Chief executives typically need extensive managerial experience. Executives are also expected to have experience in the organization’s area of specialty. Most general and operations managers hired from outside an organization need lower level supervisory or management experience in a related field.

Some general managers advance to higher level managerial or executive positions. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization.

Decisionmaking skills. Top executives need decisionmaking skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily.

Leadership skills. Top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources.

Management skills. Top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization. For example, they must manage business plans, employees, and budgets.

Problem-solving skills. Top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization. They must be able to recognize shortcomings and effectively carry out solutions.

Time-management skills. Top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals.

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Average Length of Employment
Operations Manager 4.1 years
Top Careers Before Operations Director
Manager 8.3%
Director 5.7%
Owner 3.3%
Consultant 3.2%
Internship 3.0%
Supervisor 2.8%
Top Careers After Operations Director
Consultant 6.5%
Director 6.4%
Owner 5.3%
Manager 4.4%
President 4.2%

Do you work as an Operations Director?

Operations Director Demographics

Gender

Male

64.7%

Female

27.9%

Unknown

7.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.4%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.6%

French

10.6%

German

4.8%

Chinese

4.4%

Portuguese

4.4%

Mandarin

3.6%

Italian

3.2%

Arabic

2.7%

Russian

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Japanese

2.4%

Korean

1.6%

Hebrew

1.1%

Polish

1.0%

Cantonese

0.9%

Hindi

0.8%

Greek

0.6%

Hungarian

0.4%

Filipino

0.4%

Czech

0.4%
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Operations Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.5%

Arizona State University

5.6%

Pennsylvania State University

5.1%

New York University

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.9%

Webster University

4.8%

Ohio State University

4.8%

Northeastern University

3.8%

University of Florida

3.7%

University of Houston

3.6%

Florida State University

3.5%

Texas A&M University

3.5%

University of Central Florida

3.4%

George Washington University

3.4%

Purdue University

3.4%

Florida International University

3.2%

Liberty University

3.2%

University of Texas at Austin

3.2%

Johnson & Wales University

3.1%

University of Southern California

3.0%
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Majors

Business

42.5%

Management

7.6%

Finance

5.1%

Accounting

4.4%

Marketing

4.2%

Communication

3.8%

Psychology

3.6%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Political Science

2.8%

Education

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Nursing

2.5%

Kinesiology

2.3%

Hospitality Management

2.2%

Human Resources Management

2.0%

Computer Science

2.0%

Electrical Engineering

1.9%

Economics

1.8%

Law

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.4%

Masters

25.9%

Other

18.3%

Associate

7.0%

Certificate

3.2%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$87,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$49,000
Min 10%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$155,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
McDermott International
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does an Operations Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Operations Director in the United States is $87,596 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $49,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $155,000.

Real Operations Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Cognitive Transformation and Operations IBM Corporation Somers, NY Jul 19, 2016 $306,000
Director of Operations Standard International Management New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $275,000
Director of Cloud Operations Magento Commerce Campbell, CA Sep 15, 2016 $230,000
Director, Operations Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. San Bruno, CA Sep 11, 2016 $219,772
Director of Cloud Operations Eis Group, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 06, 2016 $200,400
Director, Products Operations Appdynamics, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2016 $200,000
HDI Director of Operations Us Remodelers, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Nov 03, 2015 $200,000 -
$225,000
Director of Operations JNSQ Inc. New York, NY Jan 01, 2016 $199,992
Director of Operations BBS USA LLC Fort Lauderdale, FL Feb 18, 2016 $198,000
Director of U.S. Operations Meiko Electronics America, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 08, 2016 $197,475
Pharmacy and Operations Director Aaark Group Inc. Houston, TX Mar 10, 2016 $187,830
Pharmacy and Operations Director Aaark Group Inc. Houston, TX Oct 26, 2015 $187,830
Director, Operations Research Analysis Advantage America New York Regional Center LLC New York, NY Dec 27, 2016 $187,491
Director, Operational Risk American Express Company New York, NY Sep 14, 2015 $128,861
Director of Mapping Operations The Sanborn Map Co., Inc. Colorado Springs, CO Feb 14, 2016 $127,546 -
$149,385
Director of Operations Newport Corporation Irvine, CA Jan 12, 2016 $126,547 -
$175,000
Director of Operations Sam Dong Georgia, Inc. Waynesboro, GA Sep 10, 2015 $126,000
Director of Operations Superior Brokerage Services, Inc. Saint Paul, MN Jan 06, 2016 $125,000
Director of Operations (Nepco) Matrix Metals LLC Richmond, TX Sep 13, 2016 $125,000
Operations Director JNS Beauty and Nutrition LLC Dayton, NJ Dec 06, 2016 $97,760
Director of Therapy Operations Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital at Martin Health Stuart, FL Feb 26, 2016 $97,603
Director of Therapy of Operations Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital at Martin Health Stuart, FL Feb 16, 2015 $97,603
Director, Operations Morgan Stanley and Co. LLC New York, NY Sep 21, 2016 $96,800
Director of Therapy Operations Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital at Martin Heal Stuart, FL Aug 17, 2016 $96,304
Director, Franchise Operations Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Jan 28, 2016 $96,093 -
$117,266
Operations Director Bista Solutions, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 09, 2016 $96,000
Director of Operations Glenbervie Health, LLC New York, NY Jan 26, 2015 $96,000

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Top Skills for An Operations Director

  1. Procedures
  2. Customer Service
  3. Financial Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitate the implementation and evaluation of call center procedures, process and policies in accordance to regulatory and client requirements.
  • Provide exemplary customer service by seeking prompt resolutions to customer complaints and concerns.
  • Worked with accountants and bank representatives on improving company financial management in conjunction with key management team to improve bottom line.
  • Monitored departmental procedures to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and guidelines with effective use of resources.
  • Retained by the owners of PriCellular Corp. to direct all business operations relating to Procurement and Facilities Management.

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Top 10 Best States for Operations Directors

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Connecticut
  3. California
  4. Washington
  5. Texas
  6. Georgia
  7. New Jersey
  8. Colorado
  9. Delaware
  10. Illinois
  • (136 jobs)
  • (500 jobs)
  • (5,695 jobs)
  • (925 jobs)
  • (2,712 jobs)
  • (1,015 jobs)
  • (1,125 jobs)
  • (699 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (1,684 jobs)

Top Operations Director Employers

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