An operations team can take on many functions within a business. With wide-ranging responsibilities come wide-ranging job titles. This means that you have to be more vigilant in your job search. On one hand, the perfect job might be hidden under a title you might not expect. Meanwhile, operations titles that you’re used to looking at may mean something different at a given organization depending on their structure.
Job Titles in Operations Management
So What is Operations?
At a large company, operations is likely a department on its own. At smaller companies, there may be individuals with operations responsibilities spread across departments like marketing, sales, and human resources. People in these roles are highly organized, exhibit strong project management skills, and have keen attention to detail. They may be tasked with managing systems, like an organization’s CRM, building reports, optimizing cross-team processes, or other logistical tasks.
You likely won’t find operations titles in small companies of only 5-10 people, as they aren’t big enough to have complex processes that require an operations expert to oversee them. However, job titles for operations exist across many industries.
Let’s dive into more detail of the different operation positions that could show up in your job search:
Planning Your Career Path— Operations Title Hierarchy
Because ‘operations titles’ can be deemed an umbrella term, specific roles can range from entry level to executive. This is known as the operations job titles hierarchy. Let’s delve a little further.
So you want to be a Chief Operations Officer, or COO? It’s an understandable goal — the average COO salary according to Glassdoor is approximately $160,000. So how do you get there? Not all organizations will have all titles in the hierarchy. When applying for an operations role, it can be helpful to ask about an individual organization’s hierarchy and what the career path options are. Professionals entering the operations field can follow this career ladder to get to the top of the Operations hierarchy.
If you specialize in a niche field of operations, your hierarchy may look different. For example, a Marketing Operations Manager may work their way up to be a Chief Marketing Officer. Meanwhile, a Director of People Operations may go on to be a Chief People Officer.
What are operations jobs?
Operations jobs are positions employees can pursue that center on helping an organization run smoothly using interpersonal, communication and project management skills. Employees who work in operations typically learn how to implement various business strategies to help strengthen the business and maximize its profits.
These employees usually collaborate with several departments to better determine the overall needs and goals of the company. They also work to resolve any problems or challenges these departments may undergo to ensure employees are happy with the company and are producing quality work.
You can find operations jobs in a wide variety of industries, from foodservice to manufacturing to education. These positions are typically needed in businesses that have over 30 employees, as operations roles help organizations focus on the needs and management of their many employees.
Skills for operations jobs
There are many skills required to perform successfully in an operations role. Common skills operations employees typically have include:
Common operations jobs
Here are some common operations job titles you can explore to learn if their duties and responsibilities align with your career interests:
Primary duties: An operations coordinator helps manage the daily operations of a company and performs administrative tasks. Other responsibilities include planning company events, tracking and ordering office equipment and supplies, assisting with project management processes and preparing budgets and financial reports for management teams to review.
Primary duties: An operations analyst reviews a companys procedures, policies and organizational processes to locate any areas of improvement. Theyll typically create and implement new projects to help the company function more efficiently. Other responsibilities are collecting company data through workflows, employee interviews and reports, making organizational recommendations based on recent findings and reviewing the results of the newly implemented procedures.
Primary duties: Operations supervisors are in charge of a specific department or section of an organization. They ensure their departments are functioning effectively, remaining productive and submitting valuable work.
Other duties include building strategies to improve the companys financial status, planning the budgets for each department, evaluating and providing feedback on their employees performance and designing goals, policies and procedures for their department teams.
Primary duties: Operations managers oversee a companys productivity and efficiency levels. Their main duties include overseeing and managing budgets and finances, handling workflow processes and staffing needs, managing inventory and supply chain management and building policies for the entire company to follow.
Primary duties: Project managers oversee and manage various projects within an organization. Theyll monitor their team members progress to make sure they exceed the clients and companys goals. Their main responsibilities include reviewing each task to ensure it meets the clients standards, delegating tasks to the necessary team members and reporting project results to clients and leadership teams.
Primary duties: Program managers oversee the progress of several different projects to ensure they meet a business objectives and needs. They collaborate with project managers to determine the progress of individual projects to ensure they properly follow the organizations strategic direction that theyve laid out.
Other duties include organizing programs that align with the companys goals and vision, crafting funding proposals for various programs and managing long-term goals for their programs success.
Primary duties: Operations engineers evaluate the business performance reports and its organizational systems to create reports and strategies to improve workflow. Their main responsibilities include reviewing operational trends to enhance employee efficiencies, finding ways to save costs and implementing policies to keep employees safe in the workplace.
Primary duties: Directors of operations assist the senior team members in creating long-term business strategies. Theyll also work closely with executive members on planning objectives to improve employee performance. Other job duties include evaluating staff performance, finding ways to motivate employees to submit quality assignments and implementing strategies to improve asset growth.
Primary duties: A chief operating officer reports directly to the chief executive officer to make sure the company is operating effectively and is following necessary financial procedures. Their main responsibilities include brainstorming ways for the marketing and sales teams to retain customers, building goals to increase the companys revenue and identifying software systems and tools that improve the companys efficiency levels.
Primary duties: Vice presidents of operations are in charge of a business overall organizational structure. Their main responsibilities include making and developing company values and vision, hiring and overseeing department heads, handling any disputes or disagreements between all staff members and presenting the companys metrics and performance data to the board of directors.
What are job titles in operations?
- Operations Manager.
- Operations Assistant.
- Operations Coordinator.
- Operations Analyst.
- Operations Director.
- Vice President of Operations.
- Operations Professional.
- Scrum Master.
What is another name for an Operations Manager?
What job function is operations?