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Career profile Operations Manager

Also known as Business Manager, General Manager (GM), Operations Director, Operations Manager, Plant Superintendent, Store Manager

Operations Manager

Also known as Business Manager, General Manager (GM), Operations Director

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$45,850 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Administration and Management
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
Core tasks
  • Review financial statements, sales or activity reports, or other performance data to identify opportunities for cost reductions or service improvements.
  • Direct and coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with the production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.
  • Direct administrative activities directly related to making products or providing services.
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What does an Operations Manager do?

Operations Managers plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations.

In addition, Operations Managers

  • duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services,
  • usually manage through subordinate supervisors,
  • excludes First-Line Supervisors.

What kind of tasks does an Operations Manager perform regularly?

Operations Managers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Review financial statements, sales or activity reports, or other performance data to identify opportunities for cost reductions or service improvements.
  • Direct and coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with the production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.
  • Direct administrative activities directly related to making products or providing services.
  • Prepare staff work schedules and assign specific duties.
  • Monitor suppliers to ensure that they efficiently and effectively provide needed goods or services within budgetary limits.
  • Direct or coordinate financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
  • Establish or implement departmental policies, goals, objectives, or procedures in conjunction with board members, organization officials, or staff members.
  • Perform personnel functions, such as selection, training, or evaluation.
  • Plan or direct activities, such as sales promotions, that require coordination with other department managers.

The above responsibilities are specific to Operations Managers. More generally, Operations Managers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is an Operations Manager salary?

The median salary for an Operations Manager is $103,650, and the average salary is $125,740. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Operations Manager salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Operations Managers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Operations Managers earn less than $45,850 per year, 25% earn less than $67,450, 75% earn less than $161,190, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Operations Managers is expected to change by 9.4%, and there should be roughly 229,600 open positions for Operations Managers every year.

Median annual salary
$103,650
Typical salary range
$45,850 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
9.4%

What personality traits are common among Operations Managers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Operations Manager are usually higher in their Enterprising interests.

Operations Managers typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Operations Manager tend to value Relationships, Working Conditions, and Independence.

Most importantly, Operations Managers very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Operations Managers very strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Operations Managers very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Operations Managers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as leadership, dependability, and initiative.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Operations Managers, ranked by importance:

Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Operations Managers need?

Many Operations Managers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Operations Managers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Operations Managers

  • 2.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 17.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.8% completed some college coursework
  • 9.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 33.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 11.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Operations Managers

Operations Managers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administration and management, customer and personal service, or personnel and human resources knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Operations Managers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

Important Abilities needed by Operations Managers

Operations Managers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Operations Managers need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Operations Managers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Operations Managers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Operations Managers frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Operations Managers, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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