11 operations job titles you might choose to pursue

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Professionals who work in operations are responsible for the smooth running of an organisation's projects and business activities. There are a wide variety of jobs you can do within operations, and working in this field can give you valuable opportunities for career progression. Understanding some of the career options in operations can help you decide if this type of work is of interest to you. In this article, we look at a number of operations job titles and discuss how to develop your career within operations.

11 operations job titles

If you're interested in building a career in operations, there are many operations job titles that are worth exploring. Some of these jobs are entry-level positions, while others require a certain amount of experience. If you want to move into operations for the first time, it's usually advisable to consider entry-level or junior positions unless you already have management experience. Understanding the main responsibilities of these jobs can help you decide if a career in operations appeals to you and which job you're most suitable for. They include:

1. Operations assistant

National average salary: £22,348 per year

Primary duties: The role of operations assistant is an entry-level job. These jobs are sometimes similar to an administrator or administrative assistant job but focus more on the work of the operations team. The operations assistant usually works closely with the operations manager to support them in their duties. This can involve a variety of tasks such as answering phone calls and managing company-wide communications, organising meetings and inspecting products for quality assurance.

Related: Operations management: definition and department roles

2. Operations coordinator

National average salary: £25,075 per year

Primary duties: An operations coordinator supports the operations manager with administration and the day-to-day running of the organisation. Sometimes their responsibilities overlap with that of an operations assistant. Coordinators take on a variety of tasks depending on the organisation's needs. These can include planning and scheduling projects, being responsible for the operation manager's calendar, sending mass internal communications, preparing budgets and financial reports and organising company-wide events.

3. Operations associate

National average salary: £33,209 per year

Primary duties: An operations associate is a professional with some experience in operations who's responsible for identifying potential improvements. Working closely with the operations management team to make recommendations for improving performance, they help develop and implement company-wide standards and policies. They might also carry out some administrative tasks such as managing employee rotas.

4. Operations analyst

National average salary: £33,238 per year

Primary duties: An operations analyst is responsible for continually reviewing organisational processes and policies to identify areas for improvement. They're also responsible for developing and implementing new processes that increase efficiency and productivity to save time and money. Operations analyst tasks include conducting research, gathering company data and evaluating new procedures.

5. Operations supervisor

National average salary: £27,445 per year

Primary duties: An operations supervisor is usually responsible for operations within a specific department or area of the business. They work to ensure the department functions efficiently and productively. Other common responsibilities include developing departmental budgets and designing and implementing new policies and procedures for their department.

6. Operations engineer

National average salary: £41,930 per year

Primary duties: Operations engineers are responsible for monitoring and evaluating organisational systems and performance reports. This allows them to develop new strategies to improve workflows. They also monitor a range of factors that can affect operational efficiencies, such as costs, energy use, time and employee safety. Operations engineers identify ways to save time and money, increase efficiency and keep employees safe at work.

7. Operations manager

National average salary: £42,074 per year

Primary duties: The operations manager is responsible for overseeing the company's entire operations, including its levels of productivity and efficiency. You usually require several years of experience working in operations to do this job. They're responsible for managing supply chains, staffing, workflows and financial reports. Operations managers also occasionally work on setting long term policies and operational goals for the organisation.

Related: How to become an operations manager (with salary info)

8. Programme manager

National average salary: £48,444 per year

Primary duties: A programme manager is an operations professional who oversees specific projects. This ensures that programmes meet the business's operational requirements and organisational objectives. They often work closely with project managers to monitor the progress of projects and ensure that they align with the organisation's strategic direction. They also often develop new programmes that meet organisational goals and raise funds to support important programmes.

9. Project manager

National average salary: £44,373 per year

Primary duties: Project managers work in a wide range of industries and are responsible for overseeing specific projects. These might be internal projects, projects for external clients or a combination of both. Project management involves planning projects, including their budgets and timelines, managing project teams, tracking the progress of a project, reviewing activities to ensure they meet the organisation's standards and presenting results to clients and other stakeholders.

Related: A detailed guide to project manager vs programme manager

10. Operations director

National average salary: £77,934 per year

Primary duties: The operations director is sometimes called the head of operations. Professionals in this position are responsible for overseeing the operations team and developing long-term organisational strategies. They work closely with senior leaders like the chief operating officer (COO) to plan objectives. Operations directors are also often responsible for evaluating employee performance and motivating employees to improve.

11. Chief operating officer

National average salary: £68,246 per year

Primary duties: A chief operating officer (COO) is one of the most senior professionals within an organisation. They work closely with the CEO and manage all of the company's day-to-day operations. They're responsible for implementing policies and strategies to support operational efficiency and manage significant changes that affect the entire business. They also help to set overall long-term and strategic goals for the organisation.

What is an operations job?

An operations job is one that focuses on helping an organisation to run smoothly and efficiently. Jobs in operations range from entry-level roles to senior leadership positions. You can find this type of work in a wide range of different industries. You can often find operations jobs in larger organisations that need support to manage a large number of employees and activities. Operations personnel deploy various business strategies to help the organisation work more effectively, save time and money and ultimately increase profits.

Many companies have an operations team, but team members usually collaborate with a range of other departments. Operations teams also address challenges that departments face to help employees work as effectively as possible.

Related: What are business operations and how can you use them?

Skills for working in operations

If you're interested in working in operations, there are some skills that are useful to have. Many of these skills are transferrable skills that you can cultivate while working in a different job. Some useful skills for working in operations are:

  • Attention to detail: Operations professionals require a meticulous work style to analyse information, identify ways to improve and create accurate reports.

  • Planning and organisational skills: This helps operations professionals manage their workload and plan new procedures or policies.

  • Time management skills: Those in operations often have personal deadlines and company-wide targets to meet.

  • Leadership skills: These can help reinforce the implementation of new policies and motivate employees throughout the business.

  • Communication and interpersonal skills: Operations professionals require proficient communication skills to work effectively with colleagues at all levels throughout the organisation.

  • Project management skills: A key responsibility of most operations roles involves managing projects and programmes and delegating work to others.

  • Problem-solving skills: The ability to think quickly and creatively can help those in operations identify innovative solutions to departmental and organisational challenges.

Career progression in operations

It's possible to progress your career while working in operations. Many people start with an entry-level role, such as an operations coordinator or operations assistant. In these jobs, you can gain experience and eventually progress into another job like an operations associate or a management position. It's usually beneficial to gain a few years of experience before doing this.

If you want to continue developing your operations career further, you might progress into an executive role like operations director or chief operating officer. In this type of job, you usually have significant responsibilities, overseeing multiple departments and helping to decide organisational goals. You usually require a substantial amount of experience working in operations, including in management positions, to get this type of job.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌


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