Business Operations Manager

business operations manager

Table of Contents

Overview

Job Responsibilities

  • Communicates with stakeholders to establish operational strategies
  • Researches innovations that could improve productivity
  • Coordinates with departments to update and deploy tasks
  • Monitors production and assures quality output
  • Interprets financial figures that relate to the business
  • Oversees the budget management
  • Implements training and programs for employees’ educational progress

How Much Does a Business Operations Manager Make?

Business operations managers made a median salary of $100,930 in 2018. The best-paid 10 percent made $208,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made $44,710.  

business operations managers median salary

Common Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in business administration or other related programs
  • An entry-level working experience in the field
  • Voluntary certification (optional)
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Competent management expertise

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Common Skills

Communication skills

Leadership

Management skills

Analytical skills

Initiative

IT skills

Accounting

Microsoft Powerpoint

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Office

MEDIAN SALARY

$100,930 per year
$48.52 per hour

JOB OUTLOOK

8%

NUMBER OF JOBS

2,289,770

A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Business Operations Manager

So long as there is a business operating, there will always be a need for an operations manager. There may be different sectors that a business engages in, but each requires someone who will oversee the efficiency of the organizational operations and formulate strategies to achieve the business’ ultimate goals– and that is the business operations manager. 

The projection of employment growth for business operations managers is 8% from 2018-2028 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2018, they made a median salary of $100,930.

The role can be quite intriguing as it belongs to the top hierarchy of any organization. It requires someone with grit to take on a core function of the business—operations management. But with a crucial job comes the rewards of being the head of operations. 

What Does a Business Operations Manager Do?

Business operations managers hold one of the most critical roles in any business organization. They lead the coordination among each department to ensure operational efficiency. They design and implement strategies that will help meet the company goals. 

With the primary objective of making sure the business is running well, their tasks typically include the following:

  • Communicating with stakeholders to establish operational strategies
  • Researching innovations that could improve productivity
  • Coordinating with departments to update and deploy tasks
  • Monitoring of production and assuring quality output
  • Interpreting financial figures that relate to the business
  • Overseeing the budget management
  • Implementing training and programs for employees’ educational progress

Signs You Should Consider Becoming a Business Operations Manager

Thinking of pursuing a career as a business operations manager? Check out these characteristics that will make you fit the coveted role.

You have superior leadership skills.

As a leader of the team, a business operations manager should have the initiative, sense of direction, and guidance provision. You should be able to spearhead any task that’s within your scope of responsibility. It is your primary job to exercise your authority of handling departments you are assigned to. So if you think you are a natural born leader, being a business operations manager can work for you.

You are an efficient multi-tasker.

With a great number of tasks on his plate, a business operations manager should be able to grasp everything at the same time. Business operations managers deal with different facets of a business including budget management, logistics, vendor management, inventory, and many more. You must not lose yourself in the midst of everything when things go erratic.

You have a sense of accountability.

Given the power of authority, business operations managers are responsible for the liabilities of their team and tasks at hand. A good business operations manager is aware of his obligation and its respective impact to the organization when done properly. He acknowledges the weight of it and he owns up to his own mistakes when things do not go according to plan.

You can keep calm under pressure.

Business operations managers belong in a stress-inducing environment where their job is to ensure the success of their departments. They also are inclined to spend extra hours in the office just to accomplish their responsibilities. All these are common factors that contribute to the stressful job, thus someone who can handle the load is desired.

You have an eye for quality.

One of the major responsibilities of a business operations manager is ensuring quality output of the team. They are in charge of guaranteeing only quality work have been produced. They also look out for innovations they can deploy to improve their current performance. If you are very keen with generating only the best, then you can be a good business operations manager.

You like solving problems.

If you are one to enjoy finding resolutions for complicated problems, you may take pleasure in being a business operations manager. Exercising their analytical skills in the job is a primary requirement as whenever conflicts arise, they are the first ones who should come up with answers. Business operations managers tend to have exceptional critical thinking attributes that a leader should have.

You communicate well.

As the lead of a great number of teams, a business operations manager should be a good communicator with everyone he is dealing with. Either with third-party relations, department heads, or other team members, it is important to ensure a crisp relay of information to avoid any misunderstanding. A good business operations manager takes the time to simplify any technical aspects that would ease any difficulty for the recipients. He also remembers that communication is a powerful key to omit any internal disruptions so he constantly promotes it across his team.

business operations manager

How Do You Become a Business Operations Manager?

1. Complete a bachelor’s degree related to business administration or any business-related program.

A business operations manager typically has a bachelor’s degree in business administration or any related programs that deal with business management. Programs that focus on making the students develop leadership skills, acquire knowledge in organizational management, and pick up technological and financial background in the business are some of the choices.

Here are some courses that any aspiring business operations manager can take up:

    • Business Administration

This program is the most appropriate among all choices as it introduces the students to all aspects of administering a business or organization. It covers the range of supervising the business operations, accounting, business law, project management, and marketing. Anyone who enrolls himself to the program is expected to acquire the fundamental knowledge of business functions and processes.

    • Business Management

This program is designed for the development of leadership skills of any aspiring business operations manager. Its scope includes learning management concepts like ethics, group dynamics, organizational structure, planning, and team building.

    • Accounting

A degree in accounting is a highly acceptable credential on becoming a business operations manager. It covers the principles of accounting and its relation to business management. Proficiency with financial statements is a huge plus when making big decisions for the organization once in the field. 

    • Economics

A degree in economics caters a wide range of employment possibilities which include being a business operations manager. The degree itself helps students enhance their analytical and critical thinking skills. With those given skills and strong background in economic data analysis, one can be a great candidate to handle business operations.

2. Obtain entry-level working experience prior being a business operations manager.

Before advancing to the role of a business operations manager, one should be able to earn an ample amount of experience working at an entry-level position in business operations. You may start out as an operations supervisor on your first company and gradually work your way up as a manager. It takes a hefty amount of experience to acquire the knowledge and skills that a business operations manager possesses. It takes time and an enormous amount of effort to develop exceptional managerial skills so you should be genuinely invested in earning it.

3. Earn a master’s degree.

On top of a strong set of leadership expertise, someone with a master’s degree in business administration displays a higher chance of getting hired. There are a lot of other graduate programs that can solidify one’s knowledge on business processes and operations. These can boost the arsenal of skills they have which employers prefer.

Some companies may require such credential but it is a non-compulsory option. Realistically, companies are most likely to hire someone with it than someone without it.

4. Get a voluntary certification.

A voluntary certification is a documentation that warrants a professional’s competency in the field he is in. It is granted by professional associations like Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) which issues a certification called “Certified Professional (CM).”

Though it is an open option, qualifying for one requires accruing points based on education and experience. Once granted with a certification, a business operations manager is required to maintain his relationship with the organization through ICPM-approved activities like webinars and mentorships. This way, he will be able to retain his certification.

It might seem too demanding, but a certification is a huge advantage in supporting your knowledge and expertise in the realm of business operations.

Why You Will Want To Become a Business Operations Manager

The tasks of a business operations manager can be quite daring but having the role is greatly rewarding not just in terms of monetary but also in career growth. It offers several perks that a successful business operations manager can harvest. 

Here is a list of things you can enjoy when you decide to become a business operations manager:

You are the boss.

With the responsibility of ensuring the success of all departments, Business Operations Managers serve as the lead of the team. They are heavily tasked to handle lots of people from varying groups. It could be a demanding role but it is a reputable one that gets high recognition in the organization.

Competitive salary.

Being on the higher level of the organizational hierarchy, the job is most expectedly fulfilling salary-wise. Business operations managers had an average annual salary of $123,880 in 2018 according to BLS. Though it could vary depending on the industry, one thing’s for sure; business operations managers have attractive take-home pay. 

Steady job demand.

The expected growth for employment of business operations managers is 8% as per BLS. All industries need an operations manager in their business however small or big they are. The need for deployment of these people will always be steady as long as there is a business functioning.

Advancement opportunities.

The reputable job position of being a business operations manager is a closer step to becoming a Chief Operating Officer (COO). There are several advancement possibilities that one can achieve by being an operations manager, and all can absolutely lead to being a top executive of the organization.

Chance to make good connections.

The role deals with diverse groups of people coming from various sectors and different parts of the world. It’s a great way to build relationships in terms of career and knowledge. This is a good time to introduce oneself and garner new connections who you can be of value to your career.

operations manager

What are the Knowledge and Skills Needed to be a Business Operations Manager?

Management skills

Holding a good set of management skills is a primary key to achieving a sound and efficient organization. These skills refer to the specific attributes that make a leader successful in attaining the goals of the organization. These include the tasks of managing different departments across the business.

Strong communication skills

A business operations manager must be an effective communicator as he will be interacting with a great number of people coming from different teams. Communication is the core of leadership function. They need to be skilled in handling continuous flow of information within the team and among people who are part of the organization.

Good presentation skills

One of the primary tasks of a business operations manager is reporting to the senior management about the results and ideas of the team. Whereas, he is also tasked to present concepts with the teams and clients he is handling. He must possess a flair for persuasion and negotiation as he will be the face of the deal he wants to seal.

IT skills

As a business operations manager, he is required to learn the designated IT systems which are essential in getting the work done. He must be on the lookout for the latest innovations that he could incorporate to the current systems for better productivity of the team.

Good teamwork

A good leader understands the importance of teamwork in an organizational structure. To implement it, he makes sure that the team functions not just individually but collectively, as well. He ensures that targets are met with the right amount of dedication from each team member. He must be able to provide a support system that will motivate each head to do their task and fulfill their goals.

Critical thinking skills

The task of a business operations manager involves a lot of crucial responsibilities like making high-impact decisions for the organization. Oftentimes, he will be faced with problems that specifically require his full authority. He must display exceptional analytical skills when finding resolutions for conflicts. 

Initiative

A leader is innately assertive and proactive. He does not go with the flow, instead he leads it. As the lead of different departments across the organization, he should exhibit his eagerness to take on tasks that are thrown his way. 

Tolerance for stress

Being on the seniority level calls for an overly demanding job which may result to stress. The job could be draining due to crucial responsibilities within the workplace and tasks that require long working hours. A person who can deflect stress and turn pressure into a motivational drive is what any organization needs.

Check out this list of top-ranking business schools in the country according to Eduniversal Business Schools Ranking:

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how to be manager

How to Get a Job as a Business Operations Manager

Now that you have a good grasp of what a business operations manager does, it’s time to dig into some essential tips to secure that job offer. Even if you already have prospect companies, a little more scouring through other channels will increase your employment opportunities. There are a couple of ways you can find a job as a business operations manager. The most effective ones are through online job postings and career fairs.  

Search for job openings online

Finding a job is so much easier these days through the use of online job portals. Make use of those as a primary platform to scout for your job prospects. 

You may want to check out these websites that offer job listings for business operations managers:

Attend Career Fairs.

Every now and then, a job fair happens at prominent locations such as a nearby university or mall. This is a good opportunity to explore all the companies joining the said program. It gives you time to get to know the company overview when you are face-to-face with them. 

Career fairs happen at a pre-scheduled date which gives you ample time to prepare for the big day. You can look up on the internet the dates and venue for any upcoming job fairs near your area. You can check out these websites for a list of career fairs happening in your location:

With a pre-assigned date, you can take your time preparing for the event to ensure you are ready for a possible employment. Here is a quick rundown of things to remember when attending a career fair:

  • Before the event, conduct a background check with your prospect companies. This way, you will be familiar with what the business is about and you can show to the employers that you have researched prior to applying. You can prepare some questions you may have to prove your genuine interest in being hired. 
  • Dress appropriately for the event. A business attire would be more suitable for you as you are applying for a senior job role. Be reminded to always keep yourself presentable the whole time and embody a respectable demeanor.
  • Bring along multiple copies of your resume, cover letter, and business cards. When you’re at a job fair, you are most likely not applying for only one company, so make sure you have enough copies to submit to your prospects. Pack up some extra copies as well in case some companies open up opportunities that were not disclosed beforehand.
  • Prepare for the interview. Some companies offer on-the-spot employment so be ready to show off your skill set. You just might go home with your desired job.

Learn About Geographic and Location Pay Differentials

The salary of a business operations manager may vary across all industries out there. In addition to that, the geographical status affects it too.  Here’s an overview of how much a business operations manager makes across all states of the U.S. according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

State2018 Mean Annual Wage
New Jersey$167,600
New York$156,260
Rhode Island$155,910
Connecticut$155,890
Washington DC$150,970
Delaware$150,950
Hawaii$144,040
Virginia$142,000
Maryland$137,700
California$137,640
Massachusetts$135,820
Pennsylvania$133,480
Colorado$131,920
North Carolina$131,600
Nevada$128,080
Wisconsin$126,950
New Hampshire$126,750
Illinois$125,990
Texas$125,870
South Dakota$125,490
Washington$124,810
Michigan$122,160
Ohio$118,470
Alabama$118,440
Louisiana$115,060
Georgia$113,440
State2018 Mean Annual Wage
Florida$112,600
Alaska$112,580
Minnesota$112,120
Tennessee$110,580
Oregon$107,670
Wyoming$105,920
Missouri$105,280
Oklahoma$104,860
Indiana$103,370
North Dakota$103,100
Arizona$102,470
New Mexico$101,720
South Carolina$101,400
Iowa$99,720
Montana$98,990
Maine$98,100
Kansas$97,920
Vermont$96,950
Nebraska$96,900
Kentucky$89,750
Arkansas$87,650
West Virginia$87,430
Utah$82,370
Idaho$79,370
Mississippi$77,800

Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Make Your Resume Stand Out

A good skill set laid out carefully on a resume makes a striking impression to any employer. Be sure to craft a well-polished resume when you are applying for a job. Not only does this look presentable, but it also lets the employer leaf through your credentials easily.

Impress any potential employer by including these information on your resume:

1. Put a strong career objective.

When constructing a comprehensive resume, start your credentials with a strong career objective that shows a clear overview of yourself. Make use of a three-sentence paragraph that precisely covers your leadership experience, related skill set, and depiction of your character. Remember to make it short, but sweet enough to entice your employer.

2. Showcase your skill set and acquired knowledge from past experiences.

In reverse chronological order, list down your experiences together with the corresponding skills and results achieved during the period.  Highlight the skills acquired with the use of action verbs for a more impactful credential. Lastly, quantify the achievement you have attained for a better picture of how good you are as an employee. 

3. Insert your educational attainment.

Just like work experiences, your academic information is just as important. Start from your undergraduate program to your most recent educational attainment if there’s any. A master’s or associate’s degree can massively amplify your credentials, but it is not a major requirement to land the job. 

4. Add recent trainings and acknowledgements in the past.

Trainings attended in the past can verify your set of expertise so include them as well on your content. Also, feel free to list down any acknowledgements received in the past that demonstrate your skills in leadership, management, teamwork, or any relevant knowledge.

5. Include your affiliations and character references.

If there are any organizations associated to you, list them down as well. Connections look impressive on one’s 

resume. It shows how collaborative and established you are as a professional. 

Also, do not forget to include any character references from past jobs that can attest to your competency in terms of leadership and management. Make sure they are reachable as employers are most likely to contact them upon reviewing your application.

Ace Your Business Operations Manager Interview

If you have been fortunate to land an interview with your desired company, exert an extra effort on curating your answers to possible questions they may ask. Make sure you are ready to spout the best possible responses to obtain the coveted role. 

Aside from the common interview questions, you may want to watch out for these questions for a managerial role:

1. What is your leadership style?

This question demands for an overview of how you take on the responsibility of being the lead. It wants to learn how you tick as a leader and what strategies you use to effectively manage a team. 

Answer the question by describing your style in one word. From there, try to break it down to bits by giving supplementary information on how you manage a team. Cite and defend situations that would display your approach to each scenario. Lastly, be able to conclude the scenarios with a collective depiction of how effective your style is.

2. What is success to you?

As a business operations manager, your ultimate duty is to ensure the success of the company goals. This question aims to know your vision when aiming for success.

Respond to the question by defining success in your own words. Be as genuine as possible and mention the valuable steps you should take on achieving it. Point out a few occasions in which you have achieved victory and describe what you have done to earn it. Make sure that you include situations that compose of teamwork and collective work from people you have worked with. 

3. How do you manage stress among team members?

Being the head of various teams, you will be facing a lot of pressure from internal conflicts like those of team members’. This question wants to know the level of your tolerance for stress and how you cope with it.

Come up with an answer that would display your coping abilities when things do not go as planned. Use some examples wherein you have to deal with team members’ concerns and explain how you were able to overcome it without giving in to the pressure. 

4. How did your ideas improve operations in your past work?

This is a question of how efficient you are in constructing your strategies. It wants you to prove that you can generate company results.

Demonstrate your operational abilities by describing how you tackle your responsibility of reaching a collective goal. Elaborate your idea about the importance of operational efficiency. Be able to highlight past scenarios that show how you were able to improve one’s operations. 

5. How do you motivate people?

As a manager, you are dealing with a lot of people under you. These team members will need a support system to motivate them in times of hardships and triumphs.

Motivation is integral to any working individual. Make sure you explain how important it is to provide any form of motivation to your team members. Pick an example that would strongly display your initiative of providing a support system.

These are just a couple of potential questions that can be thrown your way, so be ready to formulate more answers for anything that relates to your management competency. Keep these reminders in mind and instill that confidence within you. For sure, employers will see right through you and gauge your excellence in operations management.

Top Online Courses for Aspiring Business Operations Managers

Sharpen your skills in operations by taking these top online courses

Below are the top online courses you should consider taking to instill the skills and knowledge every business operations manger has.

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