Operations Assistant Job Description
Operations assistants work in a variety of different industries. They offer administrative and operational support to increase the overall efficiency of a company’s daily business operations. Depending on the industry in which they work, operations assistants may work in a number of different environments, ranging from offices to warehouses to production lines. This is typically a full-time position that reports directly to an operations supervisor or manager. The hours they work can vary, but most tend to work a standard 8 – 5 shift.
Operations Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of operations assistants can vary widely depending on the industry in which they work. However, most operations assistants hold the same core responsibilities:
Provide Job-Specific Operations Support
The main duty of operations assistants is to provide job-specific support for the company for which they work, as needed. For example, business operations assistants may help coordinate and execute business strategies, while event operations assistants may help plan company events.
General Office Administration
Operations assistants also provide general office administrative support, such as answering external phone calls and scheduling meetings between different teams. They may also file and organize company paperwork.
These assistants may provide customer or client service, as needed. This includes answering phone calls from the general support line or greeting clients and visitors as they enter the office.
Maintain Logs of Office Activity
Operations assistants also need to know everything going on in the office, and they keep track of the office’s activity via comprehensive logs. They may also be responsible for reporting on the contents of the logs if a situation arises that requires that information.
Coordinate with Upper Management
These professionals work closely with upper management to coordinate strategies and manage employee efficiency. Since the operations assistant has a good view of overall company activity, they can easily relay information to upper management.
Operations Assistant Skills and Qualifications
Employers typically look to hire operations assistants that have at least a high school diploma and any industry-specific certifications. Operations assistants are also highly organized and enjoy learning how things work as they pertain to a company as a whole. Employers also prefer to hire operations assistants who possess the following skills and qualifications:
- Administrative Experience – Operations assistants should have previous administrative experience and feel comfortable answering phone calls or performing general clerical duties
- Commercial Awareness – Operations assistants often need to have industry-specific knowledge in order to understand how to best support the company’s operational strategy
- Project Management Experience – Successful operations assistants have a good grasp of the concepts behind project management, so they can better support operations managers
- Communication Skills – They often communicate with a variety of different teams and departments and need to communicate effectively, no matter the audience
- Organizational Skills – Operations assistants should be more organized than anyone else on the team so that they can identify areas where processes and operations can improve
Tools of the Trade
In addition to general office equipment, operations assistants typically use:
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Project Management Software – (Asana, Basecamp, Microsoft Project)
- Industry-Specific Tools
Operations Assistant Education and Training
Most employers will consider operations assistants with only a high school diploma. However, they may also prefer to hire candidates who have industry-specific training or certifications. Since the operations assistant needs to be well-versed in every aspect of their company’s process, they will likely also receive additional training after getting hired.
Operations Assistant Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale, operations assistants earn a median salary of $15.86 per hour. In the top 10 percent, operations assistants may earn as much as $20.95 per hour, while those in the lowest 10 percent may earn as little as $12.06 per hour. Many operations assistants are also eligible to receive commission bonuses based on their own performance. If the employer offers other benefits like healthcare insurance and vacation or sick time, the operations assistants is usually eligible to receive them as well.
The job growth outlook for operations assistants is generally positive but slower than average as compared to other industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the expected growth for operations assistants to be around 5 percent over the next 10 years. This lower-than-average growth rate can be explained by the increased automation of many of the tasks that operations assistants would normally perform.
If you’re interested in learning more about pursuing a career as an operations assistant, read through some of these helpful resources:
Administrative Assistant Group – This is a LinkedIn group that boasts over 156,000 members. The members in this group are all administrative assistant professionals, and they can help you learn more about becoming an operations assistant. Most members in this group share tips on how to become more efficient and organized in this role.
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) – This organization offers paid memberships for administrative professionals, including operations assistants. The IAAP also offers online training, networking events, and career resources that can help you improve your own skills. A membership here may help give you a competitive edge against other candidates.
The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness – This book, by author Jan Jones, is written to target CEOs, but it contains a lot of great content for operations assistants, too. It outlines the different approaches that CEOs can take to efficiently utilize operations assistants to increase productivity and effectiveness of the team. Using real-world examples, this book can help you pre-emptively develop new skills to impress your boss and learn how to be a better operations specialist.
Be the Ultimate Assistant: A celebrity assistant’s secrets to working with any high-powered employer – This book is written by celebrity assistant Bonnie Low-Kramen and comes with many high-star reviews from professionals and casual readers. It outlines the practices you can follow to become a better assistant, no matter what industry you call home.
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