Hot In-Demand Job: Operations Managers

February 3, 2020
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Author: Glenn Hunter

Operations managers are in demand across the nation, with forecasted job and wage growth for at least the next eight years. Because the position includes broad responsibilities, the ideal operations manager takes a “big-picture” approach, connecting different groups to solve problems, setting policies and guidelines, and analyzing and resolving challenges with the company’s best interests in mind.

Operations Management

  • Mean Annual Wage (2018): $123,880/year or $59.56/hour
  • Entry-level Education: High School Diploma or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Work Experience: Varies depending on industry
  • Job Growth: 7.0 percent

Business and operations managers are key personnel in upper management who ensure an organization is performing to its highest potential. They are typically responsible for planning, managing and directing company policies and procedures, while also handling a wide variety of duties necessary to successfully oversee the operations of the business.

Defining the Role

Operations managers are employed across myriad industries, including information technology, finance, food service, healthcare, human resources (HR) and sales. Their job responsibilities range from general duties to those specific to the industry or organization.

For example, an operations manager at a bank will have different responsibilities than an operations manager in manufacturing; however, both professionals are designing and controlling business operations and the process of production. Salaries and hourly wages for this role also are industry-specific.

Working as an operations manager requires both a macro perspective and a micro view of operational areas such as financial information, staffing and workflow, and supply chain and inventory. These functions are critical for making sure the company is stable and profitable.

Specific duties of the operations manager typically include:

  • Generating and overseeing department budgets
  • Defining policies and supervising training procedures
  • Staying on top of internal Human Resource systems and ensuring compliance
  • Monitoring compensation trends, legal issues and best practices

Job Growth and Wages

There are approximately 2.3 million professionals employed as general and operations managers, making it one of the largest occupations in the U.S. Across all management occupations, employment is forecasted to grow by a total of 7.0 percent from 2018 to 2028.

The metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs in this occupation include:

Operations Manager #1

*Location quotient refers to a ratio that measures how concentrated operations managers are in these metros when compared to the nation as a whole.

National annual wages for operations managers range from $44,710 to more than $157,120, depending on the industry. The mean annual wage is $123,880, and the mean hourly wage is $59.56.

The top-paying states for operations managers are:

Occupations Top States

The top-paying industries for operations managers are financial institutions and banks, financial services, scientific research and development services, communications equipment manufacturing and computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing.

Job Outlook: Bright

Demand for operations managers is expected to increase, fueled by the formation of new companies or the expansion of existing ones into new markets. More professionals will be needed especially in fields like supply chain management, resource planning and customer relationship management.

As the economy continues to grow, demand for operations managers will follow suit, promising many new opportunities for this important profession.