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Director of Operations Career and Salary Profile

Director of Operations

Management professionals with a varied skill set may be well-suited for a director of operations position. Keeping organizations on track to reach their objectives, directors of operations are involved in planning, directing and coordinating activities regarding everything from people to policies. Enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Management is a smart move toward advancing to a director of operations career.

Director of Operations Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of top executives, including directors of operations, will grow steadily in coming years. Job growth will generally reflect the growth or decline of a particular industry. For example, technology is a rapidly-growing field and should have more opportunities for top executives. Competition is strong for top positions; candidates with strong managerial experience and leadership qualities could have an advantage.

Job Duties

Directors of operations may work in the public or private sector. They plan, direct and coordinate the operations of organizations of various sizes in all types of industries. Some of the responsibilities directors of operations take on are formulating policies, managing daily operational activities, and planning use of materials and human resources toward maximum productivity.

Flexibility and a wide range of expertise are the hallmarks of directors of operations. Daily job duties for these professionals may include reviewing financial statements and sales and activities reports, overseeing production or service delivery, managing the activities of sales and distribution departments, or establishing long-term goals and objectives for the organization.

Determining needs, reducing costs and analyzing areas requiring improvement are additional director of operations activities. To maximize efficiency and improve profitability, they direct and coordinate financial and budget processes. They also typically establish and implement departmental goals, procedures and policies.

Directors of operations often supervise human resource activities, such as determining staffing requirements, interviewing, hiring and training new employees. Additionally, professionals in this role participate in sales activities, including developing a product or service mix, setting pricing and determining customer demand through data analysis.

An organization’s director of operations typically works in a comfortable office. A 40-hour week is standard. Depending on the company, travel to satellite facilities may be required.

Director of Operations Salary Potential

National salary data on PayScale.com, as of December 2010, showed that directors of operations brought home a median total income of about $90,790 per year, with those in the 25th to 75th percentile earning between $60,370 and $121,209 in total pay.

PayScale.com data also indicated that management consultants with a master’s degree can earn significantly more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. In fact, based on 75th percentile salary figures, directors of operations with an MBA earned $123,418 per year while those with a BS in Business Administration earned $94,340 per year – a differential of over 30%.

The data shows that the top salaries generally go to those with solid experience and the advanced education employers need to remain competitive in a changing global business environment.

Education and Training Requirements

Most directors of operations positions requires at least a bachelor’s degree and an extensive experience; however, most employers show preference to candidates with a master’s degree.

Individuals interested in pursuing a director of operations position can obtain necessary skills and knowledge by enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Management. Coursework typically includes financial management, international business, production and operations management and corporate innovations and new ventures.

Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Management are able to:

  • Predict and manage change through the use of innovative methods.
  • Apply effective leadership, management and negotiations theories to everyday business challenges.
  • Use active case discussion to foster agreement on difficult issues.
  • Combine marketing, operations and financial knowledge to achieve organizational goals.
  • Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a director of operations.

Do Your Goals Include a Director of Operations Career?

If you possess skills such as self-direction, group leadership and strong problem solving, a director of operations career could be a good fit for you. Obtaining the education and credentials top employers are seeking can be the key to competing for these lucrative positions. Earning an MBA with a specialization in Management can be the first step to your rewarding career as a director of operations.