Operations managers are responsible for implementing the correct and most efficient practices and processes across an organisation.
The specific duties can vary; however, typically, they are involved with formulating strategies to improve the performance of teams or the organisation, sourcing materials, hiring contractors, and ensuring compliance with protocols and policies, such as health and safety measures.
As an operations manager, you should also strive to mentor your team and improve customer or client satisfaction by implementing best practices, across all levels of the company or organisation. Employers invest significant trust in operations managers to keep the company profitable and efficient.
As an Operations Manager you will need to:
- Ensuring all operations are carried out in the most cost and time-effective way.
- Noticing areas of improvement within the organisation.
- Improving operational management processes and systems.
- Inventory planning.
- Monitoring site efficiency.
- Sourcing and purchasing materials and equipment.
- Ensuring processes are legally compliant.
- Keeping up to date with the latest relevant legislation.
- Formulating operational objectives and strategies.
- Analysing financial data, creating budgets, and improving profitability.
- Implement quality controls.
- Monitor production KPIs.
- Train, recruit and supervise staff.
- Improve customer care quality and satisfaction.
- The starting salary of an operations manager is £25,000.
- The average salary of an operations manager is £37,500 outside of London and £45,125 within the city of London.
- As a senior operations manager or head of operations, you could earn up to £100,000 per year.
Depending on the industry, company size and responsibilities, operations managers are typically expected to work 35 – 40 hours weekly. During busy periods or within certain industries, it is not uncommon to work longer hours, which could include working weekends or evenings.
Some operations managers may also be expected to work extra hours or be on hand to deal with emergencies or unexpected issues. While most work on a 9 -5 basis, others may need to be more flexible with their working hours.
What to Expect
- Most operations managers work on a full-time basis; however, overtime is occasionally necessary.
- Some managers may be expected to oversee operations in different time zones and locations.
- In some industries, the demand for operations managers is higher during peak seasons or holidays.
- You will have a diverse set of responsibilities, many of which will require you to take initiative and a leadership role.
- You will need to work closely and collaborate with various departments to streamline strategies.
- The role can be demanding, especially when dealing with emergencies or unexpected issues.
- Operation management is a fulfilling role, especially when you see the results of your work; however, strong leadership skills and problem-solving skills are crucial.
The requisite qualifications for an operations manager vary depending on the industry and level of responsibilities. However, it isn’t uncommon for employers to expect candidates to have an undergraduate degree. Note that there are no universally mandated or specific educational paths for the role; instead, you will be attractive to employers if you have certain skills or work experience.
If you want to gain a competitive edge over other applicants for operations manager vacancies, a degree in Business Administration, Supply Chain Management, Engineering or Operations Management could help you secure a higher-paid position.
To be successful as an operations manager, you will need:
- Strong leadership skills, including the ability to collaborate, mentor, motivate, and delegate. In some positions, conflict management may also be required.
- The ability to make executive decisions under pressure.
- The interpersonal communication skills to communicate with professionals from a range of industries.
- A commitment and passion for continuous improvement, both for yourself and for the organisation.
- Basic IT and software skills to help you streamline management systems and bolster operational efficiency.
- Problem-solving skills that enable you to identify and address operational challenges.
Ideally, your CV should reflect that you can handle the responsibilities and demands of an operations management role; experience in supervisory or management positions is highly valuable. While work experience doesn’t have to be in the same industry for many positions, with some more specialised industries, it may be a requirement.
Any work experience that exhibits your capacity to carry out the following duties will increase the chances of your application appearing at the top of the shortlist pile:
- Project management
- Cross-functional collaboration
- Resource management
- Regulatory compliance
- Team training and development
- Leadership development
Many operations managers find opportunities for promotions within the organisations they are hired within. Typically, the more responsibility an operations manager has, the better the annual salary, with senior operations managers and head of operations employees earning between £70,000 – £100,000+.
Once you have gained experience as an operations manager, you will have a diverse skill set, which is valued and attractive in many industries. There are few limits to the potential career prospects; top-performing operations managers can even progress into Chief Operating Officer, Supply Chain Manager, or consultancy roles. Other professionals within the industry choose to embark on a career path in project management, industry transitions and executive leadership.
Nearly every industry you can think of requires an operations manager; the main industries and sectors include manufacturing, retail, logistics, healthcare, banking and finance, hospitality, telecommunications, charities, government organisations, IT, energy, and consulting firms.
As for the best places to search for vacancies, the job sites with the most operations management positions listed include LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter.
If you want to hone your project management skills before applying to an operations manager position, the 1-year MSc Project Management degree taught at the UWS London campus can help you to improve your career prospects, gain professional accreditation and build a network of potential career prospects. Additionally, you will learn problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, ICT, and analytical skills. Successful candidates have secured positions in construction, manufacturing, retail, business services, and real estate development.