What is an Operations Manager

As an operations manager, you have a lot of responsibilities. You may need to oversee several departments, coordinate operations in public or private organizations, but the big takeaway here is that you're in charge.

The job entails so much more than just being in charge, you'll be formulating policies, staying on top of daily operations, and figuring out how to use certain materials and resources. Before you stress out, you will probably have supervisors who will help oversee each section. Deep breaths.

Since you're essentially making sure everything consistently runs smoothly, you'll probably grow accustomed to working overtime hours. Then again, once you're running a well-oiled machine (or team), you can kiss that stress goodbye.

What Does an Operations Manager 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.

Learn more about what an Operations Manager does

How To Become an Operations Manager

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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And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Walmart Jobs (658)
  2. Lowe's Jobs (489)
  3. Office Depot Jobs (524)
  4. Best Buy Jobs (714)
  5. The Home Depot Jobs (861)
Average Salary
$74,893
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
365,020
Job Openings
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Operations Manager Career Paths

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Average Salary for an Operations Manager

Operations Managers in America make an average salary of $74,893 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $118,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $47,000 per year.
Average Salary
$74,893
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12 Operations Manager Resume Examples

Learn How To Write an Operations Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Operations Manager resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Operations Manager Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Walmart Jobs (658)
  2. Lowe's Jobs (489)
  3. Office Depot Jobs (524)
  4. Best Buy Jobs (714)
  5. The Home Depot Jobs (861)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Operations Manager Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Operations Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Operations Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume
Operations Manager Resume

Operations Manager Demographics

Operations Manager Gender Statistics

male

69.4 %

female

30.6 %

Operations Manager Ethnicity Statistics

White

70.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.3 %

Asian

6.2 %

Operations Manager Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

56.4 %

French

7.7 %

German

3.8 %
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Operations Manager Education

Operations Manager Majors

41.3 %

Operations Manager Degrees

Bachelors

62.5 %

Associate

17.0 %

Masters

8.7 %

Top Colleges for Operations Managers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

9. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030
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Online Courses For Operations Manager That You May Like

Supply Chain Management A-Z: Operations & Logistics Basics
udemy
4.5
(671)

Supply Chain Management Basics: An MBA style course to boost your career as a business operations & logistics manager...

Audit - Financial Statement
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Learn the audit process from planning to audit report form a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)...

Operations Management
edX (Global)

Have you ever wondered about the right methods to improve productivity, configure your supply chain or address the demand on hand? In recent years, businesses have strived to improve productivity and quality, reduce costs and delivery times, and embrace flexibility and innovation. These strategies are part of the Operations Management (OM) activities that service and manufacturing organizations engage in. Operations Management helps you to understand the role of OM in a firm and to develop...

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Top Skills For an Operations Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.5% of Operations Managers listed Customer Service on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Leadership skills are important as well.

Best States For an Operations Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an Operations Manager. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, and New York. Operations Managers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $121,142. Whereas in Connecticut and Delaware, they would average $102,993 and $100,828, respectively. While Operations Managers would only make an average of $97,431 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Operations Manager Jobs:
2,065
Highest 10% Earn:
$146,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Operations Manager Jobs:
316
Highest 10% Earn:
$138,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Operations Manager Jobs:
190
Highest 10% Earn:
$192,000
Location Quotient:
0.95
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Operations Managers

How Do Operations Manager Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Dream Job!September 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoDream Job!September 2019

What do you like the most about working as Operations Manager?

I love being able to mold my team and the distribution center to the culture of respect and accountability! Having senior and executive leadership support is a huge positive factor in making this happen!! Show More

What do you NOT like?

Long hours and calls outside of regular business hours are the norm! Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Area operation managerMarch 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoArea operation managerMarch 2019

What do you like the most about working as Operations Manager?

I love it and I wish I was back at my old job but I guess it is what it is Show More

What do you NOT like?

Not being loyal Show More

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Top Operations Manager Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Operations Managers and discovered their number of Operations Manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that FedEx was the best, especially with an average salary of $66,612. The Home Depot follows up with an average salary of $105,089, and then comes Staples with an average of $97,840. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an Operations Manager. The employers include Twitter, USAA, and Pfizer

Most Common Employers For Operations Manager

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Operations Manager SalaryAverage Salary
1$118,946
2$112,078
3$111,637
4$110,860
5$108,486
6$105,089

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Becoming an Operations Manager FAQs

How long does it take to become a business operations manager?

It takes 7 to 9 years to become an operations manager. Most operations managers have completed an undergraduate degree and have at least 3 to 5 years of experience.

The pathway to becoming an operations manager typically involves a combination of education, certification (sometimes), and experience on the job.

Common degrees earned by operations managers.

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

  • Bachelor of Science in Operations Management or Bachelor of Arts in Operations Management

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Operations Management

  • Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management

  • Bachelor of Science in Operations and Supply Chain Management

  • Bachelor of Arts in Operations Management Analysis

  • Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Management

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Operations

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Operations and Information Management

As you can see, there's no one must-have degree for operations managers. Experience tends to matter more than the highest level of education in this role. However, earning an advanced degree certainly can't hurt, especially if your goal is to become an operations manager or chief operations officer.

After graduation, consider completing a graduate certificate that focuses on either supply chain management or operations. Some operations managers even get their Master of Business Administration (MBA), but it's not required.

Finally, try to gain as much experience in business as you can. First-hand experience is worth its weight in gold. There are many moving parts of a business, and each business is like a snowflake. That's not something you can learn in a book. To be an operations manager requires getting your hands dirty.

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How much should an operations manager be paid?

An operations manager should be paid $85,660 or higher. However, differences in pay rates can range from as high as $180,000 to as low as $50,000. The big discrepancy in salaries results from the differences in the operations manager's type of role from one industry to another.

For example, in non-manufacturing environments, operations managers may spend most of their time dealing with staffing issues and developing company policies meant to reduce costs.

Conversely, operations managers who work in compliance and take responsibility for staff and end-product safety, such as manufacturing, scientific research, or tech, typically get paid more.

Industries pay operations managers the most.

  • Central banks and other monetary authorities

  • Finance and investing

  • Scientific research

  • Communications equipment manufacturing

  • Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing

  • Business

  • Computer systems design

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What should an operations manager do?

Operations managers should oversee their organization's production of goods and services (e.g., purchasing, warehousing, and manufacturing).

An operation manager must make sure that their company's operations run smoothly and effectively.

Operations Manager Responsibilities:

  • Provide inspired leadership for the organization.

  • Make important policy, planning, and strategy decisions.

  • Develop, implement, and review operational policies and procedures.

  • Assist HR with recruiting when necessary.

  • Help promote a company culture that encourages top performance and high morale.

  • Oversee budgeting, reporting, planning, and auditing.

  • Work with senior stakeholders.

  • Ensure all legal and regulatory documents are filed and monitor compliance with laws and regulations.

  • Work with the board of directors to determine values and mission, and plan for short and long-term goals.

  • Identify and address problems and opportunities for the company.

  • Build alliances and partnerships with other organizations.

  • Support worker communication with the management team.

However, different skills are needed depending on the kind of industry an operations manager wants to specialize in. For example,

  • IT operations manager

  • Business operations manager

  • Manufacturing operations manager

  • Restaurant operations manager

  • Healthcare operations manager

  • Hospital operations manager

  • Medical affairs operations manager

  • Field operations manager

  • Construction operations manager

  • Finance operations manager

  • Nonprofit operations manager

  • Supply chain operations manager

  • Fitness center operations manager

  • Energy operations manager

  • Laboratory operations manager

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