The Average Operations Manager Salary, Job Description and Skills You Need to Become One

William Miller

If you’re interested in operations management, then you’ll want to know how much you can make in that position. Let’s take a look at the average and median operations manager salary, tasks, and job requirements.

The Average and Median Operations Manager Salary – Fresh Data

In the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report for 2021, operations managers are listed together with general managers. The average operations manager salary is $115,250, but the salary range is very wide, from under $43,260 to more than $151,750. How much you’re going to make depends on how many years of experience you have and what kind of company you work for.

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The biggest salaries go to those working in monetary authorities (the central bank). They earn $237,230 per year. The second place goes to those who work in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, with a mean salary of $191,340.

The median operations manager salary is a bit lower, at $97,970, according to the BLS., on the other hand, estimates it to be $108,397 based on HR-reported data.

How Does That Compare to Other Kinds of Managers?

Operations managers fall in the middle of the pack when it comes to management salaries. They make more than construction managers but less than human resources managers.

That might be due to the wider range of companies and industries they’re employed in. For example, a small restaurant is more likely to have a general manager (lumped together with operations managers by the BLS) than a human resources manager. Managers of restaurants and other eating places only make $64,680 per year.

Operations Manager Salaries over the Years

It’s difficult to say whether operations manager salaries are increasing or decreasing based on the BLS’ data. In 2018, operations managers made a mean salary of $123,880. That decreased to $123,030 in 2019, then increased to $125,740 in 2020. In 2021, the average dropped to $115,250. The median pay changed similarly.

Why is that? It could be due to the pandemic. Businesses had to close or reduce operations, so they didn’t need as many operations managers. The BLS’ data is based on a survey that was done in May 2021.

States with the Highest Average Salary for an Operations Manager

Where you live and work also has an effect on your salary. Here are the five states with the highest general and operations manager salaries, according to the BLS:

  1. New Jersey – $164,670;
  2. District of Columbia – $156,010;
  3. Delaware – $148,920;
  4. New York – $144,830;
  5. Massachusetts – $141,840.
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The lowest-paying states are Mississippi, Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia. In those states, the mean annual wage for operations managers was between $70,130 and $93,700.

What’s the Job Outlook for Operations Managers?

The operations manager job outlook is average. The BLS projects an 8% growth in top executive positions between 2020 and 2030. That’s as fast as the average for all occupations. Every year, about 247,000 jobs are going to open, most of them due to retirements.

The good news is that operations managers will always be in demand, as businesses will always need people to oversee their operations. The pandemic has changed the way businesses operate, so there’s a chance that operations managers will be in even higher demand in the future.

What Does an Operations Manager Do?

Operations managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company. That includes making sure that the products or services are produced efficiently and at a high quality. They also have to make sure that operations run smoothly, without any disruptions.

Operations managers usually work in an office, but they might have to travel to other locations, such as factories or warehouses. They typically work full time and might have to work overtime to meet deadlines or deal with emergencies.

How Are Operations Managers Appointed?

Operations managers are usually appointed by the company’s owners or the general manager. In some cases, they might be promoted from within the company. Sometimes, they’re recruited from outside the company – you might have seen job listings for this occupation. They’re always senior positions, though, experienced enough to manage business operations in different departments.

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What Skills Do You Need to Become an Operations Manager?

To be an operations manager, you need to have strong leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills. You also need to be able to work well under pressure and handle multiple tasks at the same time.

You don’t necessarily need a college degree to become an operations manager, but it can help you get the job. Many operations managers have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, engineering, or a related field. Some also have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in management.

The Bottom Line: Operations Manager Salaries Are Pretty Good

Operations managers make a pretty good average salary, especially if you have experience and a college degree. The job outlook is average, but there’s always going to be a demand for operations managers. If you’re looking for a career change, this might be the perfect occupation for you.

Do you have what it takes to become an operations manager? Let us know in the comments below.

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