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Operations Officer Duties and Responsibilities

The exact nature of an operations officer’s work depends on their organization, but the following core duties are common across the field:

Oversee Operational Procedures The operations officer’s primary responsibility is ensuring that their organization’s daily activities run smoothly. It is largely a managerial role that involves assessing current procedures, analyzing performance data, and updating policies to reflect recent developments.

Devise and Implement Innovative Strategies The operations officer devises new strategies in reaction to market changes. These innovative procedures aim to increase company growth or efficiency. The operations officer is held personally responsible for effective execution of these new strategies.

Manage Available Resources The operations officer prioritizes and manages company resources in order to meet goals and objectives. This includes both material and personnel resources, with operations officers often hiring, firing, motivating, and training staff.

Communicate Operations Performance Regular analysis of operational activities allows the operations officer to assess overall company performance. They present this information to the executive leadership team through written memos and oral presentations. Operations officers also contribute to leadership discussions and assist in strategizing how to improve performance.

Team Management As an arm of executive leadership, operations officers are responsible for a subset of departments and teams. They develop successful, high-performance teams through effective training, motivation, and communication.

Review Market and Regulatory Developments Keeping abreast of market and regulatory developments helps operations officers plan appropriately. They conduct consistent research and network with influential figures to stay up to date.


Operations Officer Skills and Qualifications

Effective operations officers are highly driven, results-oriented individuals who are comfortable working under pressure. Employers look for candidates with five or more years of business experience, plus the following skills:

  • Leadership – as part of the executive leadership, operations officers motivate and direct employees to achieve high targets. They are comfortable managing multiple teams working collectively toward a single goal
  • Resource management – operations officers prioritize and manage available resources, such as personnel and revenue. They must also exercise these skills to manage their own time and fulfill their extensive responsibilities
  • Data analysis – an operations officer extracts critical and actionable information from large amounts of data. They regularly review performance and sales records to uncover how operations can be optimized for future growth
  • Problem-solving– unexpected developments demand that operations officers exercise keen judgment and creative thinking. They must design time-sensitive and effective solutions to these problems while remaining calm under pressure
  • Communication skills – operations officers use clear oral and written communication to manage large teams and convey critical information to the executive leadership team

Operations Officer Education and Training

Operations officers usually have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or accounting, plus at least five years’ experience in upper-level management. Although a master of business administration degree isn’t required to work as an operations officer, job candidates with an MBA are highly desirable.


Operations Officers Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for operations officers is just under $100,000. Since operations officers work in small and large businesses, there is a wide range of salaries. The lowest 10 percent of earners make less than $44,000 a year, while the highest 10 percent earn over $200,000. Operations officers can expect benefits like paid vacation, sick pay, and health insurance. The outlook for operations officers, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, is expected to grow at an average rate of 8% in the coming years. This projects almost 2.5 million positions by 2026.