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Business Operations Manager

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Overall Score
(6.5 out of 10)

Number of Jobs


Median Salary


Unemployment Rate

4.1 percent

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This Job is Ranked in
Best Business Jobs #5
The 100 Best Jobs #42

Business operations managers help various departments within a company coordinate to meet the end goal. Every business needs them, large or small, regardless of industry. Their job includes hiring people, negotiating contracts, addressing budget matters, understanding general business operations and guiding work teams for projects. They also make strategic decisions about what customers are likely to buy and create company policies that help the staff operate efficiently. Duties vary widely and depend on the company's needs. "Operations really is the heart of most companies, because the operations department actually gets the job that the company needs to get done, done," says Eric Schaudt, manager of operations programs, material planning and analysis at Northrop Grumman.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects operations management employment growth of 12.4 percent between 2012 and 2022, which should be driven by the creation of new businesses. During that time period, an additional 244,100 jobs will need to be filled.


Operations managers have one of the highest-paying occupations in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These professionals earned a median of $95,440 in 2012, with the highest-paid 10 percent earning more than $187,199 per year and the lowest-paid earning less than $46,890. The best-paying jobs are in the Northeast, with three of the top five in New Jersey and the other two in Connecticut and New York.

Salary Range

75th Percentile $145,210
Median $95,440
25th Percentile $65,860


Many operations managers have a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, but the specific degree required depends on the organization hiring. Significant experience within an organization can sometimes lead to a promotion to this position. The ability to make decisions quickly and communicate effectively within a large and diverse organization is essential. The Association for Operations Management offers certification programs in production and inventory management and certifies employees as supply chain professionals. "A lot of companies use these certifications as search criteria and filter their candidates as whether they are certified or not certified," Schaudt says.

Reviews & Advice

Professional organizations could help you network your way to an operations manager job. "We encourage people to go to meetings, hand out their résumé and start to build a network among the operations management profession," Schaudt says about the Association for Operations Management. "The best way to break into the profession is to build a professional network. A lot of the time, this can and does lead to a job interview."

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility good Above Average
Stress Level poor Above Average
Flexibility fair Average
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Last updated by Casey Quinlan.

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