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The Duties of Operations Managers

by Elvis Michael, studioD

Operations managers oversee and direct the operations of a plant, retail location or business function that is too diverse to be segmented. One of the top executives of a organization, an operations manager runs daily operations to ensure it meets its vision and financial goals based on the organization’s objectives.


Like many executive occupations, an operations manager is generally promoted into this role after years of progressive experience. Operations managers often hold a bachelor’s degree in a business related discipline. Many hold a master of business administration. When organizations hire operations managers from outside the company, they require extensive supervisory or managerial experience and an excellent work record.


An operations manager establishes policies and procedures that align with the organization’s overall goals and objectives. He implements standards of performance, safety policies and procedures and makes policy changes as necessary. An operations manager consults with top executives to ensure policies adhere to local and federal regulations, insurance requirements and legalities.


With other top executives, an operations manager develops financial budgets for the office they oversee. He frequently review sales data, production and activity reports, financial statements and other information to ensure financial goals are achieved. Operations managers find ways to reduce operational costs and increase revenues. They plan long-term financial goals for the facility they oversee.


Operations managers direct all human resources and management activities. They determine staff needed to accomplish goals, select and hire new employees and assign responsibilities to the entire staff. They oversee and manage goods used at the facility such as sales merchandise, inventory or production materials. Operations managers also authorize and approve all vendor and contract services for the facility.

Careers and Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 5 percent growth for general and operations managers between 2010 and 2020. Growth is slower than the average for all occupations, based on the continuing mergers and acquisitions that contribute to management jobs being eliminated. Competition for these high-level jobs are strong, so qualified candidates with industry-related experience, an advanced degree and strong management skills will move into an operations manager position. In 2011, the BLS estimated an average salary of $114,490 per year for this occupation.

About the Author

Elvis Michael has been writing professionally since 2007, contributing technology articles to various online outlets. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in information technology at Northeastern University.