Are you confident, enterprising, and passionate about people, technology, and operations? If yes, a career as an Operations Manager might be worth exploring.
Operations Managers are vital for the smooth running of a business. They manage the production of goods and ensure the organisation successfully transforms inputs such as labour, materials, and technology into outputs.
To become an Operations Manager in Australia, you need a bachelor's degree in management, finance, business, marketing, or another related field, including work experience. A postgraduate degree in business administration is valuable to work in this role.
If you plan to become an Operations Manager, read this blog to learn about the steps to pursue this profession, the skills needed to succeed, the qualifications, courses, job opportunities, and the salary expected at different stages of your career path.
1. What Is Operations Management?
Operations management is an area of business that involves administering business practices to maximise the efficiency and profitability of an organisation.
The field involves planning, organising, and supervising varying processes of an organisation to balance costs and revenues and achieve the best possible operating profit.
2. What Is An Operations Manager In Australia?
Operations Managers are professionals with exceptional management and organisational skills whose job is to enhance the overall work efficiency of a business while complying with safety and environmental rules and regulations.
3. Types Of Operations Managers
The best part of being an Operations Manager is that the profession allows you to work in varied roles across various industries. Here are some of the roles that you can take based on your interests and preferences:
Business Operations Manager
This type of Operations Manager oversees several departments in a company to ensure the resources are optimised to enhance the productivity and efficiency of a business.
Field Operations Manager
Field Operations Managers implement sales initiatives and field marketing. They recruit and train field sales representatives, assess their performance, and manage the logistics of marketing activities.
Healthcare Operations Manager
This category of Operations Managers enhances the quality and efficiency of patient services through resource optimisation and issue resolution.
Construction Operations Manager
Operation Managers who work in the construction sector are responsible for monitoring various building projects, ensuring the proper resource allocation, develop ways to improve the commercial value of the construction.
Human Resource Operations Manager
They develop HR policies to enhance employee engagement and productivity, manage departmental budgets, and organise resources for the smooth running of the HR department within the organisation.
4. What Does An Operations Manager Do In Australia?
The Operations Manager's exact tasks depend on the organisation and industry they work in. They are usually responsible for communications, finance, staff, resource management, safety measures, quality control, and risk management.
Develop Operations strategies
Analyse and enhance processes
Manage quality assurance programs
Establish sales and profit goals
Make key policy, strategy, and planning decisions.
Coordinate a business's daily operations, such as the production or distribution of products.
Set and review budgets and manage costs
Recruit, hire, and train staff
Enforce health and safety procedures
Constantly follow market trends concerning their company's services or products.
Monitor organisational changes and health and safety procedures and ensure all compliances are up to date.
Liaise with investors, the board of directors, and other businesses
Communicate with co-workers and senior management to ensure the proper working of all systems
Ensure the team meets project deadlines and meet budgets
Review budgets and control expenses
Follow quality insurance protocols and changes in government-set labour rules and regulations, environmental issues, and safety requirements.
Lead and support large teams in a busy environment
Review employee's performance at regular intervals
Attend staff meetings, and meet labour union representatives, government officials, and members of neighbouring communities.
5. Operations Manager Skills
Operation Managers need a combination of soft and hard skills to perform efficiently in the workplace:
Good knowledge of production processes, inventory management, logistics, quality control, and customer service.
A thorough understanding of management functions, budgeting, profit forecasting, and consumer trends.
Knowledge of the company's policies and procedures and capability of working accordingly
Data entry and processing
Enjoy leading others
Strong communication skills
Time management and planning
Teamwork and delegation
Strong leadership and managerial skills
Negotiation and conflict management
Able to work well under pressure
6. What Qualifications Do I Need To Be An Operations Manager?
To work as an Operation Manager in Australia, you need both education and several years of industry experience.
Operations Managers must have extensive experience to lead a company toward its objectives. Start in a junior human resources or business administration role and gradually pursue higher responsibilities, such as managing people and processes, operations, and leadership.
7. How To Become An Effective Operations Manager?
Here is a step-by-step guide for becoming an Operations Manager in Australia:
Step 1: Complete A Bachelor's Degree
A business diploma may be appropriate, but most operations manager positions prefer a bachelor's degree. It will improve your employment prospects and give you a better chance of getting a job.
A Bachelor's of Business is the ideal qualification for an aspiring operations manager to learn a wide range of leadership, management, financial, strategic, and analytical skills.
You may also consider completing a bachelor's degree in the following areas:
Business logistics and supply chain management
Some good choices in majors for an operations manager career include:
Step 2: Get Seasonal, Volunteering, or Part-Time Work While Studying
Look for part-time opportunities or classroom-led group assignments to learn working within a team and in a high-stress environment. It helps build and refine the transferable people-focused soft skills for the role. Some of these include:
Understanding customer needs
Here are a few ways to gain work experience:
Get into an entry-level position in business administration, IT, finance, HR, or business support, such as a receptionist, accounting clerk, cashier, or any other position.
Volunteer for a trade fair or an open day
Look for an opportunity to supervise or manage a committee while studying at the university.
Seek supervisor and manager-level volunteer positions such as warehouse supervisor, retail store manager, etc.
Start mentoring or tutoring younger students.
Obtain employer support for you to work and stud
Find an opportunity to practice creating and managing a budget for a university society event or any other event.
Once you gain adequate managerial abilities and soft skills, start searching for an entry-level management role - assistant Manager, department head, branch manager, operations coordinator, operations assistant, etc.
Since the role of an Operations Manager is not industry-specific, try working across different industries to work in practically any industry. Also, a diverse working experience shows your proactiveness, flexibility, and versatility for the role to potential employers and boosts your chances of getting an initial break.
Step 3: Enrol In An Internship
Operations manager training is a vital part of any business education and a stepping stone from study to your career. Try to enrol in one or two related internships before you graduate.
They ease your career path by providing assistance and access to industry partners with whom you wish to work. You can find one if you are still looking for an internship program online or via an educational institution in a company you want to work for.
Step 4: Complete A Postgraduate Degree
Those interested in developing comprehensive knowledge in this field and gaining a competitive edge to get a job should consider earning any of the below postgraduate degrees can be beneficial:
Logistics and supply chain management
A business specialising in operations management
Master of management
Master of business management (MBA)
Step 5: Apply For Jobs
Once you have the necessary qualifications and experience, it is time to draft a well-constructed resume and start applying for jobs. Make sure you tailor your resume for each job position and list a range of specialised skills you have that match the vacancy.
Doing this will help your job application to stand out in a pool of applicants. At the same time, spend time networking and expanding your professional network so that you can take advantage of relevant job postings.
8. Operations Manager Courses
Diploma of Business (Operations) - Foundation Education
This online course is ideal for leadership and business operations skills. It equips you with the professional understanding to work as an admin/office manager, team leader, project coordinator, frontline manager, or business development manager in any organisation.
Operational Excellence for Leaders – UNSW's Australian Graduate School of Management
The skills and knowledge you gain will help you solve organisational issues, align Operational Excellence to the modern-age businesses, and connect trends such as digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and process mining and automation.
Operational Excellence Certificate (Graduate Certificate) - Stevens Institute of Technology
A graduate certificate in Operational Excellence is the best degree for an Operations Manager who directly manage, service, or support corporate operations.
The program teaches advanced analytical and quantitative techniques to evaluate, create and enhance corporate operations. Students also learn the practical application of tools and methods to solve specific issues in operations management.
You can also undertake this course at the Australian Institute of Management.
9. Operation Manager Jobs
Operations Managers have a place in almost every industry, such as retail, finance, healthcare, insurance, government institutions, education, and manufacturing.
They supervise the operations of businesses, government agencies, and non-profits to efficiently utilise business resources and the smooth operation of business processes.
10. Operations Manager Salary In Australia
According to PayScale, the average salary for an Operations Manager is AU$ 84,463/AU$ 31.04. The pay package includes non-monetary benefits, medical insurance, and car and house allowances to facilitate their responsibilities.
Bonuses and paid annual leave days are among the perks Ops Managers enjoy.
The operations manager's salary depends on their experience level, the industry they work in, their state, the company's payment policy, expertise, position in the company hierarchy, and responsibilities.
For example, an operations manager that supervises a single department earns relatively lower pay than the one overseeing an entire company and carrying out complex tasks. Also, employers will pay more for your expertise if they have several years of experience in operations.
Salary Based on Work Experience
Entry-level Operations Managers (<1-year experience): AU$69,248 per year
Early career Operations Managers (1-4 years of experience): AU$75,689 per year
Mid-career Operations Managers (5-9 years of experience): AU$86,599 per year
Experienced Operations Manager (10-19 years of experience): AU$96,215 per year
Highest Paying Cities For Ops Managers
Sydney: $127,707 per year
Perth: $124,167 per year
North Sydney: $122,416 per year
Parramatta: $120,841 per year
Melbourne: $114,340 per year
Canberra: $114,097 per year
11. Job Prospects Of Operations Manager In Australia
Almost every industry requires Operations Managers to supervise operations processes and maximise efficiency and productivity throughout a business or department.
Manufacturing industries need them to supervise production processes and reduce costs while complying with quality standards.
Ops Managers are in demand in construction industries to ensure the delivery of raw materials and manage workers on-site to ensure the timely completion of projects.
In the retail sector, they oversee business operations and sales representatives to increase business sales.
Employers value their strong leadership and management skills as it positively impacts staff retention and motivation.
Moreover, their superior planning and organisational skills help in the proper utilisation and management of available resources to optimise efficiency and achieve desired objectives of a company.
The employment outlook for Ops Managers looks promising due to the varied transferable skills that make them well-suited to work across several industries in Australia.
12. What Are The Career Advancement Options For Operations Managers In Australia?
The career advancement path depends on one's career aspirations and the industry.
Most Operations Managers start their career in a junior role as a facilities manager or logistics supervisor and work their way up to senior roles. Specialising in a specific sector can improve your chances of getting promoted to higher management positions.
The most common areas of specialisation include:
After gaining experience and expertise in their field, they can progress to become
The director of operations
Chief executive officer (CEO)
Opportunities are also available to become Self-employed as a consultant.
13. Work Environment For An Operations Manager
The work conditions of an Operations Managers depend on the workplace where they are employed.
Operations managers working in manufacturing spend most of their time at the manufacturing plant or the factory.
Those working in the construction industry spend their time around different sites or factories and wear personal protective equipment to work safely.
In retail and information technology, they work in office-based settings with negligible travelling requirements.
Generally, they work standard business hours at full-time capacity for at least 38 hours a week. They may require working late nights and on-the-weekend during busy periods.
Though most companies hire them full-time, they may also find part-time work opportunities or short-term contracts, particularly in consultancy companies. Operations Managers may also travel interstate or overseas to attend supplier meetings, conferences, or project seminars.
14. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How To Become an Operations Manager Without a Degree?
Aspiring Operations Managers need a combination of formal education and extensive industry experience to pursue this role.
Though employers usually prefer a bachelor's degree in business, finance, marketing, management, or another related field, you can get started in this role with a VET course, such as a Diploma in Business (Operations).
If you want to step into this role without a degree or an unrelated bachelor's degree, you need transferable soft or management skills to fill any gaps in your knowledge. Consider taking skill-enhancement courses or getting into part-time jobs to build the necessary skills.
How To Become an Operations Manager at Amazon?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is looking for a highly motivated Operations Manager passionate about working with people, operations, and technology.
Working at Amazon is an excellent opportunity to work with and learn about a fast-growing cloud platform and deliver an extraordinary customer experience.
Based on the job profile, the ideal candidate for this role meets the following criteria:
Good people management skills
Strong verbal & written communication skills
Technical leadership experience
Able to build, motivate and guide teams
Have a proven track record in hiring and retaining top-notch talent
Previous experience working with software development, infrastructure teams, and support.
Good understanding of Linux and Windows platforms
Willing to stay updated with the latest industry developments
Have good project and product management experience
Strong customer and quality focus
Good operations, business, and technical vision
Experience managing IT environments
Capable of finding solutions to the most complex of technical issues.
How Many Years Does It Take To Become an Operations Manager?
The minimum qualification to become an Operations Manager is to have a 3-year bachelor's degree majoring in any of the following areas:
Business Logistics And Supply Chain Management
Some Operations Managers enter this profession with a 2-year Diploma in Business Operations, gain experience, and gradually move to managerial roles.
Along with the necessary education, you also need some relevant industry experience to get to this position. The exact duration for becoming an Operations Manager depends on the course you choose and whether you study part-time or full-time.
Can Anyone Become an Operations Manager?
Yes. Anyone passionate about people, business operations, and technology with the requisite skills to meet the Operations Manager education requirements can pursue this profession in Australia.
Is Operations Manager A Good Career?
If you are a born leader, have superior organisational and managerial skills, solid financial acumen, and enjoy working in a dynamic work environment, then becoming an Operations Manager could be a great career option.
The role has a favourable career outlook, reasonable remuneration, and non-monetary benefits.
Though working overtime and on-site overseeing workers and their activities may make you feel stressed, if you have the correct mindset, you can manage the role's demands.
How Do I Start A Career In Operations Management?
You need a diploma in business operations or a bachelor's degree in a related field in business administration or operations management to get started in the Operations Manager's role.
As it is a managerial role, some employers seek candidates with postgraduate qualifications like a Master's in Business Administration or Graduate Certificate in Operational Excellence. It helps advance your skills and vital knowledge to excel in the role.
Once qualified, take the next step and secure a part-time or entry-level job in business administration and supply chain management to gain real-world industry exposure.
Is Operations Manager A High Position?
University graduates mostly start in junior roles and work their way up. The "Operations Manager" is an executive-level role requiring 4-10 years of experience.
They lead a small group of people but also report to people above them. With 8-10+ years of experience working as an Operations Manager and specialised knowledge, you can advance your career to more senior positions such as:
Director Of Business Operations
Strategic Planning Manager
Vice President Of Operations
Chief Operating Officer
Being an Operations Manager is a worthwhile, in-demand, and advantageous career that allows you to work across numerous industries based on your preference and interests.
If you want to take your career to new heights, the courses mentioned in this blog can help you to achieve your dream of becoming an operations manager in Australia.
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