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How to become an Operations Manager

Published: Saturday 9th January 2021

An operations manager is an important part of almost every industry, meaning you could work in anything from healthcare and hospitality, to manufacturing and retail. Operations managers monitor, analyse and improve a business’s production systems, in order to achieve the highest level of productivity.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in operations then keep reading and find out what you’ll need to be successful in this role…

What does an Operations Manager do?

Professionals in this job will have varied tasks, depending on the industry and organisation they work in. Operations managers duties and responsibilities include staff, and resource management, as well as financial, communications, and setting goals/objectives. More specifically there are three areas where operations managers often work on, namely production management, financial management and resource management.

Young male operations manager smiling in a modern office

Production management duties may include identifying operational inputs, processes, and feedback to improve overall company performance. Financial management duties may include overseeing overall financial management, budgeting, and cost-cutting. Furthermore, resource management tasks may revolve around managing and increasing the effectiveness of HR as well as coordination and communication between departments. 

What qualification do you need to be an Operations Manager?

To become an operations manager, you’ll need to gain on-the-job experience in business and administration-related fields. A bachelor’s degree or similar in a relevant area of study is essential. Employers will usually look for candidates who are educated to degree level, and many applicants will hold a Master’s degree in business or similar.

Skills required

One of the most important skills this position requires is leadership. It is essential for professionals to know how to set goals, take responsibility, mentor and lead by example. They should also be excellent written and oral communicators with strong organisational skills. 

Leader vs manager. Man is holding memo sticks.

Other essential skills include attention to detail as well as being able to look at a business’s financial big picture. In doing so, they can successfully evaluate its progress and oversee each department’s daily operations to ensure they meet the goals for productivity and profitability.

Salaries and career development

Individuals in this role are often well-compensated. Entry-level salaries go up to £28,000, operations manager salaries up to £35,000 and Chief operations officer salaries around £65,000 annually. Salaries can range as high as £75k with some of the bigger firms and for the more experienced. UK hotspots for the best jobs and salaries are usually London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leicester, Leeds and Manchester

After gaining experience, you’ll be able to advance in your career, moving into high-paid positions. An option could be working as a COO, one of the highest-ranking executives in a company, who works alongside and reports to the chief executive officer.

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