Operations Manager

Become an Operations Manager

The overall responsibility of an operations manager is to make sure that a company or organization runs smoothly. But the exact functions performed by individual operations managers depend on the size and structure of the enterprise. They may oversee a portion of operations, such as manufacturing, or they may be the only operations manager at a small company. In the School Of Business at Fairfax University of America, students can prepare for careers in operations management by earning a business administration degree in Virginia.

What Is an Operations Manager?

An operations manager directs important functions of the business or organization. They may be responsible for supply chain management, assuring that the company has the materials needed to create products and that those products are then distributed to consumers. Or, they may have an administrative role, making sure that the departments of human resources, finance, and Internet Technology (IT) have the personnel, equipment, and guidance to perform their tasks efficiently. Whatever the exact role of the operations manager, it usually includes overseeing budgets and helping to create budget plans. Important areas and activities, such as quality control, compliance with laws, and negotiating contracts with vendors, also may be the responsibility of an operations manager.

With a firm grasp of the goals of the business, the operations manager may be called upon to manage new projects, especially if they include construction, purchase of large items, installations, or restructuring. In addition to a bachelor’s or master’s degree, operations managers also need practical experience and knowledge of the business venture or its economic sector.

Duties and Responsibilities of Operations Managers

Operations managers are found throughout the economy, working in financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and government agencies. Through their coordination of one or more business and service departments, they can encourage efficiency. Through the efforts of operations managers, the various parts of a company function cohesively, reaching the targets and goals set by leadership teams, top executives, and governing boards. Some of the more common duties performed by operations managers are:

  • Planning and monitoring budgets
  • Leading management teams
  • Administrative oversight for Human Resources, IT, Finance, Customer Service, Marketing
  • Tracking progress on organizational goals
  • Improving organizational processes
  • Designing and implementing internal training programs
  • Customer and client relations
  • Negotiating contracts with vendors, suppliers, distribution networks, and consultants
  • Project management
  • Coordination of manufacturing and distribution processes
  • Recruitment and retention of executive leadership

Salaries and Advancement for Operations Managers

Companies need operations managers who are leaders and have the skills to analyze problems and make decisions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for general and operations managers was $97,970 in May 2021, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $208,000. This group is projected to grow by 9 percent between 2020 and 2030.

As operations managers gain practical experience and knowledge in their chosen industries, they may advance to positions as Chief Operating Officers (COO), usually responsible for the coordination of multiple (if not all) departments and divisions in large corporations. For those who choose to pursue top executive positions, program managers also may become Chief Financial Officers (CFO), and Chief Executive Officers (CEO).

Business Administration Degrees at Fairfax University of America

There are two levels of degree programs at Fairfax University of America for students who are interested in pursuing careers as business leaders and operations managers. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration offers students a thorough grounding in business practices, and offers internship opportunities, as well as these degree program areas of focus:

  • Business analytics
  • Business optimization
  • Organizational development and human resources
  • Social innovation and sustainable business

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate degree program that prepares students for roles in businesses that are data-driven and analytical. There is a strong focus on developing leadership qualities, including communication skills, for pursuing careers in high-level management and coordination roles.

Both business administration degree programs at Fairfax University of America help students enter the business world with skillsets and experiences that help them prosper in fulfilling careers. Request information about our Virginia-based, business-driven programs, or submit an application online today.