The field of operations management is a growing one because the job functions performed by these business professionals are needed by every company. The duties performed by operations managers are diverse and often complex, and these high paying positions are usually given to business leaders who have extensive experience within a particular organization, industry or sector. Here is a description of some of the job duties of operations managers, the typical career path taken to gain the position and projected job growth for the career field.
Job Description for Operations Managers
The duties of operations managers include the oversight of human resources, facilities and financial management. For example, operations managers are often the lead hiring manager for new talent who pass the initial screening process provided by human resource professionals. These managers also make sure companies’ operations departments have the facilities, materials and equipment that are needed to accomplish work effectively. Operations managers do this by developing keen knowledge of their organizations’ activities, generating and implementing operational plans and monitoring budgets. The position of operations manager requires the exercise of good judgement, rapid decision making skills and excellent communication abilities.
Academic and Professional Development Requirements for Operational Management Careers
Since operations managers are needed in businesses that operate across all industries, successful managers can come from any number of academic backgrounds. For instance, an operations manager who works for an engineering services company may have a technical degree, but one who works as an operations manager for a restaurant may have a degree in food service management. However, nearly all professionals in the operational management career field have taken formal course work in several business disciplines like administration, finance, supply chain management and organizational leadership. Additionally, many operations managers have earned Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Operations Management degrees. While some operational management jobs do not require specialized certifications, these credentials improve new employment prospects and opportunities for promotions for operations managers. Some popular certifications offered by the Association for Operations Managers (APICS) are ones for production and inventory management and supply chain logistics. Those who want to gain entrance into this field are encouraged by industry leaders to develop strong networks through professional associations like APICS and the American Management Association.
Recent Salaries for Operations Managers
The job of operations managers can be challenging and stressful at times, but these professionals are usually compensated very well for their time, education, skills and experience. Most operational managers who work in technical management, professional services or manufacturing and production companies generally enjoy six figure salaries. Others who may work in the hospitality industry as restaurant operations managers are not very far behind their more technical peers and earned annual median salaries of $71,740 in 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some of the highest paying operational management jobs are found in New York, California and Connecticut.
Projected Job Growth for Operations Managers
Expected job growth for operational management professionals is about 12.5 percent for 2012-2022 which is faster than the average for all professions analyzed by the BLS. Operations managers who have logistics expertise may ideally expect even greater employment opportunities; the projected job growth rate for logisticians is about 22 percent.
While operations managers often seem to have no clearly defined job descriptors, their role is critical for business growth. Without this catch all, operations management position that requires initiative, organizational skills, communication abilities and the motivation to follow up on actions many businesses would not meet their customers’ quality expectations.