Operations managers make companies run efficiently. Your job is to make sure the company has the people and materials necessary to provide the goods or services your clients need. This involves making tactical and strategic decisions and communicating with a wide variety of people to make sure everyone is properly coordinating to meet the end goal. “Operations really is the heart of most companies, because the operations department actually gets the job that the company needs to get done, done,” says Eric Schaudt, manager of operations programs, material planning, and analysis at Northrop Grumman.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects operations management employment growth of 4.6 percent between 2010 and 2020. During that time period, an additional 81,600 jobs will need to be filled.
75th Percentile Wage: $142,030
Median Wage: $94,400
25th Percentile Wage: $65,290
Source: Us News
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for operations managers was $94,400 in 2010. The best-paid 10 percent in the field made over $166,400 per year, while the bottom 10 percent made approximately $47,280. The highest-paid in the profession work in the metropolitan areas of Trenton, N.J., Newark, N.J., and New York.
Many operations managers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but the specific level of education required depends on the type of organization. Excellent communication skills and the ability to make decisions quickly and accurately are essential. The Association for Operations Management offers certificate programs in production and inventory management and certifies employees as supply chain professionals. “A lot of companies use these certifications as search criteria and filter their candidates as whether they are certified or not certified,” says Schaudt.
Upward Mobility: Above Average
Stress Level: Above Average
Flexibility: Below Average
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Participating in professional organizations will help you to network your way to an operations manager job. “We encourage people to go to meetings, hand out their resume, and start to build a network among the operations management profession,” says Schaudt, about the Association for Operations Management. “The best way to break into the profession is to build a professional network. A lot of the time, this can and does lead to a job interview.”
To Learn more about career in operations management and what really happens in that field, see “Interviews with Masters of Operations Management”
Source: Us News