How to Become an Operations Manager

An operations manager oversees many of the practical, everyday functions of a business or organization.

This may include things like human resources, policy management, public relations, and logistics.

An operations manager will usually supervise other department heads and is often the go-to person in the event of a company crisis.

To become an operations manager, your best skill will be your ability to communicate well with people from all walks of life.

The people working under you will need to respect you, but also feel that you are approachable.

This can be a hard balance to strike.

Another important skill is time management.

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With your job covering so many different facets of a business, you will need to be able to manage your time well and prioritize when necessary.

Education Requirements to Become an Operations Manager

To become an operations manager, you will need a four-year bachelors degree in business, or a similar field.

More importantly, you will need to have quite a bit of work experience behind you before you will be considered for this type of role.

The best major you can have in college is business administration.

A degree in marketing, finance, or accounting, would also be applicable.

Some operations managers have a degree in the field they work in, for instance engineering or communication and then complete an MBA later on.

Operations managers that work for the big companies and demand a higher salary often have a postgraduate qualification, usually an MBA.

If you are currently working somewhere in the business field, and have your sights set on becoming and operations manager, then completing an MBA is a good idea.

There are many study options available, including online degrees which allow you to complete your coursework on your own time.

Operations Manager Job Description

An operations manager’s role is primarily to keep the day to day operations of a business running smoothly.

This consists of overseeing departments like human resources and logistics to make sure that no problems are occurring and, if they are, to fix them in a timely and efficient manner.

Some of the job responsibilities common to operations managers are:

  • Improve operational systems, processes, and policies
  • Hire and fire staff
  • Ensure occupational health and safety standards are being met
  • Ensure IT systems are at their best
  • Ensure financial and accountancy branches are performing well
  • Oversee company budgets
  • Help staff and managers set goals
  • Monitor staff performance indicators
  • Oversee payroll and communicate with staff about salary and promotion
  • Provide staff development and training opportunities
  • Communicate with a range of clients, managers, and employees
  • Communicate with executive director, financial director, and chief executive officer

An operations manager will often be called on to work long hours, well beyond a 40-hour work week.

They may need to work in high stress environments, and sometimes see people at their worst.

Part of the role of an operations manager is not only to oversee current business, but also to be on the lookout for new opportunities.

You may spend time speaking with clients, or looking at new ventures for a company to enter.

You must also be aware of risk management and be looking out for the company’s best interest at all times.

Operations Manager Salary and Career Path

Most who work as operations manager started their careers in other parts of a business.

Some may have worked in a hands-on entry level role and then completed managerial qualifications later on.

Others may have worked at an executive level and climbed the ranks to become an operations manager.

Some operations managers may move on to become CFOs, consultants, work within other sectors of business, or go on to become educators.

The salary for an operations manager will depend on their responsibilities, the size of the company they work for, their level of experience, as well as their qualifications.

The median salary for an operations manager is $123,000 a year.

This position is challenging, but also brings with it a large salary and has many other benefits including working with a variety of people and understanding how businesses are run.

If you’re serious about establishing a career in business, a role as an operations manager may be a good choice for you.

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