Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree in operations management, MBA focused on management, or Master of Operations Management Degree.
Job Outlook: Good
A good operations manager is essential for any large company or an organization, as they ensure its smooth running and efficiency. The operations manager is responsible for overseeing, designing, and redesigning business operations, and must make sure that they are efficient in terms of using as little resources as possible, while remaining effective in meeting customer requirements. It is essentially the process of taking raw materials, labor and energy and converting them into goods or services. Traditionally this refers to goods and services being produced separately, but the line between the two is often blurred as certain manufacturers may offer services and goods as one package.
The job of operations manager is pretty skilled, as they need to be thoroughly trained in the principles of general management, and must also understand the process of production and manufacturing. A good manager will be a skilled systems analyst and productivity analyst who is able to plan and cost for materials. An operations manager may also have to determine the goods and services to be sold, and to set prices and credit terms, based on a forecast of customer demand. They must be able to review financial statements and sales activity reports, and other data which relates to productivity and achievements.
In addition they need to be good at managing people, as they will be responsible for hiring people and making sure they are correctly trained, and also firing people when necessary. They must be able to think creatively and rationally. An operations manager may also be required to represent the company at conferences, meetings and seminars, and needs excellent communication skills.
Education and Training Requirements
The minimum educational requirements are a bachelor’s degree in operations management, or a business degree which incorporates operations management. A lot of operations managers may also have an MBA which focuses on management, a Master’s degree, or even a Ph.D. in operations management.
Getting the Job
Most operations managers begin their careers in areas such as production control, service delivery management and logistics and quality management. Other entry-level titles may include operations consultant, operations manager, manager of business process improvement, and project manager.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Job prospects for operations managers are good, and jobs are most unlikely to ever become automated. However competition is stiff and anyone wishing to pursue a career as an operations manager should try to secure the very best qualifications they can, and should join operations management organizations in order to make the most of networking opportunities.
Working Conditions and Environment
Working conditions for an operations manager are generally good as the majority of their time will be spent in the office although they may have to oversee the production of products or services. Hours are generally regular, but this will depend on the individual organization.
Salary and Benefits
An operation manager’s salary is largely dependent on their skills and qualifications, and the number of years of experience they have. The very best qualified can earn considerable salaries at multinational companies. Although the average salary is around $55,000 a year, a good operations manager with 10 years or more of experience can expect to earn around $100,000 a year.
Where to Go for More Information
The Association for Operations Management
8430 W Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste. 1000
Chicago, IL 60631
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science
7240 Parkway Dr., Ste. 300
Hanover, MD 21076
International Journal of Operations & Production Management
One Mifflin Pl., Ste. 400
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 576 5782