Operations ManagementPeople desiring a highly-paid position in business might consider a career in operations management. This highly lucrative field is so diverse that it encompasses all aspects of business from obtaining raw materials for production through the distribution of the product. In addition, it is possible to be an operations manager in most arenas of business, so people can work in the areas that interest them.

What is an Operations Manager?

According to Management Help, operations managers oversee every aspect of production and distribution from product creation to development, production and distribution. They are responsible for two major divisions of production: technological and organizational. Technological aspects include purchasing materials while keeping an eye to budget, maintaining sufficient inventory without excess, managing the quality of the product, making certain that machinery and other tools are operating efficiently and kept in good repair and managing the logistics of distribution, which includes transportation logistics like means of transport and cost. Organizational aspects of operations management involve the labor force. Managers ensure the human resource department is attracting and retaining qualified personnel, from the people who develop a product idea through those who test it and those directly responsible for its production. That means operations managers have to be adept at labor relations and communication. In addition, operations managers must pay attention to the environmental impact of the business on the area and its economy.

What Education do I Need to become an Operations Manager?

Most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management or accounting. According to Education Portal, most programs will include seminar-type classes in “soft” areas like principles of leadership and relationship building as well as stressing mathematics and statistics. Bachelor’s degrees, however, are not enough to earn a high-level job in operations management. Many employers require an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Finance or an MBA. In addition, there are certifications available to enhance the applicant resume. These credentialing procedures are voluntary, but many employers look to see if applicants are certified. When considering a degree for operations manager careers, it is important to remember that students must specialize in areas like healthcare or telecommunications to ensure they can work in their fields of interest.

What Do Operations Managers Earn?

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics list the median wage for these professionals at $95, 440. Of course, that figure will be skewed by the size of the corporation for which a manager works, and the area of the country in which they are employed. Companies with international scope will usually pay higher salaries as well. The downside to the BLS figures is the “projected growth rate” of operational manager positions. That is only five percent, which is far below the average for all jobs.

Related Resource: Certified Financial Planner

Even though current employment figures for this field show a downturn, the global nature of business and the increased consumption of a growing world population make it probable that the slow job growth rate is temporary. Although futuristic planners foresee robotics replacing much of the workforce, there will always be a need for someone to oversee the “big picture.” Students who want careers in operations management should get the education and the preparation to work in a field of rapid technology advancement.