what is an operations manager?

As an operations manager, you are in charge of running an organization's daily functions. That involves planning and implementing production processes to improve quality, productivity and performance. Your primary role is to oversee company procedures and enforce the policies. For instance, finding the perfect balance between expenses and revenue is your job. That means you optimize costs to maintain a company's financial health without compromising the quality or customers feeling short-changed.

Aside from formulating company processes and policies, the operations manager manages all company resources. That includes raw materials, labour and capital. As an operations manager, you supervise and control all factors of production to ensure maximum productivity. Sometimes, you carry out human resource functions to improve employee engagement and productivity.

what does an operations manager do?

An operations manager is crucial in every industry, including manufacturing, healthcare, construction and retail. Your job is to put together the resources available to achieve a company's goals. For instance, you manage inventory and sales representatives to increase sales in retail. In manufacturing, you supervise the production processes and minimize costs without affecting the quality standards. In construction, you ensure all materials are utilized as expected and manage on-site workers.

Would working as an operations manager suit your commercial awareness and enterprising skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an operations manager role.

operations manager roles

average operations manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of an operations manager is $109,974 per year. When you are new in the role, you earn $75,867 annually due to your minimal experience and qualifications. As your experience improves, you are likely to earn more than $156,181 yearly.

what factors influence the salary of an operations manager?

As an operations manager, your salary depends on diverse factors. In an entry-level position, you have minimal experience, which lowers your salary expectations. As you improve your expertise, you can negotiate a higher salary package and additional benefits. The company's size and operations determine your earnings. When you manage large company operations, the complexity of your duties increases your salary expectations.

Your location also influences your earnings. When you work in New Brunswick or Quebec, you earn more due to the high demand for the role. Provinces like Alberta have lower salary expectations due to low demand for operations managers. Some industries also have higher payment expectations due to the complexity of the duties.

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types of operations managers

Operations managers vary depending on the industry they work in. Some include:

  • business operations managers: as a business manager, you supervise the operations of various departments in a company. You optimize company resources to improve business outcomes by promoting efficiency and productivity.
  • field operations managers: your job is implementing field marketing and sales initiatives. That means you are responsible for training and hiring field sales representatives, evaluating performance and managing the logistics of marketing activities.
  • healthcare operations managers: you help improve efficiency and the quality of services in a healthcare centre. You ensure the hospital sticks to the budget by optimizing resources and resolving operational issues.
  • construction operations managers: you supervise various building projects and ensure the proper allocation of resources. You also develop efficient ways to improve construction standards and enhance commercial value.
woman executive smiling, looking to the side
woman executive smiling, looking to the side

working as an operations manager

Working as an operations manager is a great opportunity since you help your company improve efficiency. Here are operations managers' main tasks, work schedules and career opportunities.


operations manager skills and education

Some of the educational requirements of operations managers include:

  • bachelor’s degree: to work as an operations manager, you require a college diploma or a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration or a relevant field. You can specialize in a specific sector by pursuing a course in engineering before completing a master's in management.
  • work experience: you require extensive experience in operations and other business roles to work as an operations manager. You can improve your skills through middle management roles that improve your experience in leadership.

competencies and characteristics of operations managers

Some of the qualities of an operations manager include:

  • leadership skills: as an operations manager, you undertake many managerial duties. You need leadership skills to help you set goals, mentor, motivate and lead other employees. Leadership skills assist in guiding employees and leading by example to ensure the company's objectives are accomplished.
  • communications skills: operations managers interact with various stakeholders, from suppliers and customers to top management. Communication skills help you effectively deliver instructions and feedback to different stakeholders.
  • organizational skills: as an operations manager, you oversee multiple aspects of a business. You need organizational skills to accomplish all the tasks at the stipulated time. You should organize your work and create a timeline for each project to ensure success.
  • financial acumen: as an operations manager, you ensure all business operations meet the budget. With financial insight, you can evaluate the daily operations of each department and ensure they meet the company's profitability goals without exceeding the budget.

FAQs about operations manager jobs

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an operations manager.


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