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Operations Manager


How to Become an Operations Manager
Operations Manager Job Details
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become an Operations Manager
Operations Manager Salary
Influential Professional Operations Managers
Leading Organizations for Operations Managers
Top Cities for Operations Management Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become an Operations Manager

After graduating high school with courses including accounting, business management and law, formal training to become an operations manager would take place at a college or university.

There are opportunities to obtain a certificate or a bachelor's degree in operations management. Courses in operations management could also be taken as part of a larger educational goal such as a business degree. Four years of university is required to obtain a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Although there are no formal educational standards to become an operations manager, those with a degree will be given higher preference for a job at a greater rate of pay. Proven management skills are essential to succeed in today's fast moving business world.

What does an Operations Manager do?

An operations manager oversees the operations of a business which could range from a small company to a large company with offices worldwide. The operations manager ensures that everything within the company runs smoothly with the ultimate goal of efficiency and profitability for the company.

This can involve coordinating the operations of an organization, looking for inefficiencies within departments, forecasting future demands for products, and recommending locations for new plants or facilities locally or worldwide.

Operations managers hold regular meetings with all company departments, from manufacturing to sales and marketing, to benchmark and measure performance. It is essential that a company runs smoothly to ensure its success. Operations managers also oversee departments like quality assurance, inventory control, employee health and safety and is responsible for any ecological concerns that a business may have.

Operations managers are also responsible for understanding customer needs, delegating work when necessary, tracking and measuring staff performance, all while motivating company employees through pride and a positive learning environment.

It is estimated that about 50 percent of the job would be spent hands-on in day to day operations of the business while the remainder would be in an office setting. There may be a requirement for overtime on occasion as well as a requirement for travel which may involve weeks or months at a time.

Opportunities for an operations manager exist in a wide variety of industries from retail management of a store to managing an organization in healthcare or the energy sector. Advancement within a company to a senior management position is a common and lucrative goal for many operations managers.

What skills or qualities do I need to become an Operations Manager?

Skills required to be a successful operations manager include being a problem solver, a quick thinker, along with multi-tasking and time management abilities. Leadership is a quality that any operations manager must possess which goes hand in hand with being able to motivate and manage employees.

Communication skills are a must as well as an enjoyment of working with others as part of a successful organizational team.

More technical skills required include being able to project revenues, analyze data, budgeting, computer proficiency, microeconomics and managerial accounting. An operations manager must be adaptable to change and possess negotiating skills to achieve a positive end result.

How much does an Operation Manager make?

An operations manager, like any other professional, makes different salaries depending upon their place of employment, geographical area and applicable skills. The median salary for operations managers in the United States, as of September 2008 is $89,710 annually. The middle 50 percent of American operations managers made between $76,653 and $102,767 in the same year.

These base salaries do not include benefits supplied by many employers such as health & dental insurance, sick leave, paid vacation, life insurance or a retirement savings plan. The perks of becoming a top-level operations manager may include the use of a company vehicle along with an expense account.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Eli Whitney (1765-1825) was a great inventor of his time. He also made the first documented attempt at analyzing production of his muskets. He was involved with the linkage of machinery and interchange of musket parts with a labor workforce that led to the development of the American System of Manufacturers (ASM) in the 1800's.

As of 2006, there were an estimated 1.72 million operations managers in the United States in almost every industry imaginable. Each one of these managers is a dedicated and hard working member of a management team. They may not be in the public eye because much of their work goes on behind the scenes but behind every successful company is a great operations manager.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

While there are not necessarily leading organizations in this field, operations managers are an integral part of any profitable company. Leading business schools may help to produce the best operations managers and according to Forbes magazine, Harvard, Columbia, Yale and Stanford are among the top 10 business schools in the United States.

The mission of the Association for Operations Management (APICS) is to "build knowledge and skills in operations management professionals to enhance and validate abilities and accelerate careers." APICS also offers three levels of management certification that are accepted worldwide.

The American Management Association (AMA) also offers its members exclusive opportunities to attend workshops, webcasts and even through podcasts to enhance their professional management careers. The AMA offers both individual and corporate memberships to qualified applicants.

What are the top cities for Operation Management jobs?

As it is generally accepted that an operations manager is crucial to any successful organization or business, jobs for operation managers continue to grow at a steady rate. However, the competition is growing as well which means it can be a challenge when seeking such a job but great security is offered once the job is found as skilled operations managers are in high demand.

Wherever there are companies, there are operations managers, which means you can work almost anywhere you choose. The states of California, Texas and New York consistently have a high demand for operations managers while the cities of Los Angeles, Houston and New York are hot spots.

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