Operation managers have a very important job in a business or organization. They are responsible for managing the processes that ensure a trained and efficient workforce. They also need to enforce quality standards to maintain a high level of performance within the company. Learn more about the operations manager job description in the rest of this article.

We will go over the daily expectations and duties, the skills that make a good operations manager, the education required, and the job outlook for these professionals.

woman in gray blazer working at her desk

What Do Operation Managers Do?

Operation managers will oversee multiple aspects of the company from employees, to processes, to production. They can be thought of as the ‘handyman’ of a company. This is because they are expected to complete a variety of tasks for a company.

One of the greatest strengths for an operation manager is to be flexible and willing to lead change efforts. Their day-to-day tasks will look different depending on the company and industry. Being flexible both in what they are expected to do and the processes through which other people work, while maintaining and enforcing policies will maximize efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Operations managers need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field. They should acquire leadership and managerial skills while completing their degree. According to Payscale, the median salary is $60,904, but this will vary widely by field.

Operations Managers Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities

Operations managers work with many different units and departments of the business. They will work with and manage both people and products. The list below describes some of the basic duties that may be expected in an operations manager job description.

  • Staffs different parts of the company at the proper ratios.
  • Troubleshoots problems with customer service return and exchange policies.
  • Monitor the production systems and make sure they are working well.
  • Collaborate with middle and upper management to ensure a healthy working climate.
  • Deciding on a quality assurance program and making sure that the company is meeting those standards.
  • Manage the inventory and identify when new supplies need to be ordered.
  • Identify the most effective processes for distributing goods and services.
  • Manage the cash flow of a company through establishing policies and maintaining financial accuracy.

Operations Manager Required Skills

Motivational skills. An operations manager job description will show that they are responsible for overseeing the heart of an organization, the people. They will lead teams and conduct training. It is essential that these professionals get to know the employees who work for the company in order to best understand how to motivate those employees.
Customer service skills. An operations manager can often be considered the heart of a company. They must understand what the customer wants and ensure that the company climate is set with the customer in mind.
Staffing skills. Knowing when and how to staff is a very important skill that optimizes the workforce and reduces wasted money. Analyzing trends, the desires of employees, and labor rules will help to inform staffing decisions.
Interpersonal skills. An operations manager sets the learning environment for the company. They also must delegate and ensure a consistent environment in terms of enforcing rules and regulations. Setting a climate where employees feel valued and know there are boundaries and expectations for performance will motivate them to perform their best.

How to Become an Operations Manager

There are many paths to becoming an operations manager. At the minimum, they need a bachelor’s degree and experience in the industry. There are certifications that can enhance a person’s portfolio to become an operation manager.

Education & Training Requirements

Operation managers need to have their bachelor’s degree in a business field such as supply chain management, organizational change, or logistics. These professionals make sure the whole system is running smoothly so a focus on system dynamics or human performance will also be helpful.

However, as can be seen in this description of how different people got their start as operations managers, not everyone has a business focus in school. They majored in fields such as industrial engineering, music, or sociology.

Students who have an interest in management, but do not want to work in one specific area of a company, should pursue internships or job shadowing to gain an understanding of how all of the different parts of a company work together. There are voluntary certifications like the Certified Manager that will make someone a more appealing candidate. This certification requires a certain level of experience and education to be earned.

Work Experience

Experience is necessary to land an operations manager job. Some operations managers are promoted from within. For example, an employee at Sephora started in a store position and worked her way up to an operation management position at corporate.

Individuals interested in becoming an operations manager should continue to acquire experience and reflect on how what they are learning can be applied to what is seen in an operations manager job description.

Work Schedules

Operations managers work full-time. They will work with executives in the company and often carry out tasks as requested by the executives. They typically work office hours, but some weekend or evening hours can be expected. Their hours are longer when there is a major change in the company or when a project deadline is approaching. Travel is expected for operations managers both to work with customers and to attend conferences and meetings.

Career Prospects

Operations manager rank the highest in the current job market, but have a future growth rank of 4/10. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expect their growth to be 7 percent through the year 2024. This growth is the same as the average growth for all jobs. Most of the growth will be due to growing industries. 63 percent of operation managers are men.

The salary for operations managers will vary based on the company and profile of the employee. Payscale lists the median salary at $60,904 while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the highest paying industry for operations managers has a salary of $197,180 dollars. A commission, bonus, and profit-share is typical for these professionals.


Operation managers will have a range of responsibilities for a company and every day looks different. They have high expectations for job performance and need to have excellent management and leadership skills. Their pay will vary widely by industry. Overall, an operations manager job description emphasizes people skills and a high degree of autonomy in their work.