How to Become a Director of Operations?

Are you thinking of becoming a Director of Operations or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Director of Operations, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Director of Operations job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
"Operations Manager" was the nearest match for you query "Director of Operations".

Steps to Become an Operations Manager

Operations managers are essential for keeping many businesses running smoothly. They can work in a variety of industries, and the position is an ideal choice for people who enjoy leading others. They help the departments within a company coordinate with each other and meet their goals. Their job includes hiring new employees, negotiating contracts, keeping expenses under budget, and guiding teams for projects. They also help create company policies that help the staff operate efficiently. To become an operations manager, take these steps:

Get a college degree.

Operations managers usually have a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field like management or accounting. Getting a good education can help you improve your chances of getting noticed by an employer. People with extensive experience can sometimes get jobs as operations managers as well.

Future operations managers often take courses in business communication along with management, accounting, statistics, mathematical modeling, cash flow management, and similar subjects. These courses can help you understand how to run a business efficiently. You'll learn about marketing, law, finance, and more.

For larger companies and higher operations management positions, an MBA or Master of Business Administration degree is usually preferable. These degrees usually take about a year to complete, and they help students learn more about relationship development, leadership, consumer psychology, and organizational behavior. This knowledge will be vital as you lead the operations and processes of a business.

What skills do you need to be an Operations Manager?

  • Leadership
  • Excellent Communication
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent Organizational
  • Cross Dock
  • Written Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Powerpoint
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as an Operations Manager in the United States.

Get certification as a Certified Manager.

The ability to communicate effectively and make decisions quickly within a large, diverse organization is essential. ASCM, the Association for Supply Chain Management, offers a variety of certification programs in production and inventory management. You can also get the Certified Manager accreditation from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. Certifications often require a course, an exam, and regular continuing education.

Many companies look for operations managers with relevant certifications from ASCM and other organizations. They often use software to filter out applications from candidates without certification, making this qualification essential for getting someone to take a look at your resume. Other than the General Manager certification, the exact certifications you should get depend on the industry. For example, an operations manager working for a company that installs heaters and air conditioners would need different certifications than an operations manager in the hospitality industry.


Gain some experience.

Before you become an operations manager, you should build your experience with a job as a receptionist, cashier, accounting clerk, or any other position. Volunteer for additional responsibilities to gain experience and let your employer know you have the leadership skills needed for management. When you feel ready, you can search for an entry-level management role, such as assistant manager or department head.

You can also apply for branch manager, operations assistant, or operations coordinator roles. Spending some time in one of these positions can help you gain the skills you need to get an operations manager job. You'll also get to learn more about the industry you want to work in.

Director of Operations Career Path

Director of Operations

8+Years of Experience
€80K - €131K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior Director of Operations

8+Years of Experience
€105K - €105K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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50% advanced to

Vice President of Operations

8+Years of Experience
€83K - €132K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Director of Operations Career Path

Senior Manager of Operations
Team Lead Operations Manager
Deputy Director of Operations
Senior Lead Operations Manager
Associate Director of Operations
Director of Operations
Senior Director of Operations
Vice President of Operations
Deputy Chief Operations Manager
Executive Operations Manager
Chief Operations Manager

Related careers in the Operations Industry

Interested in other Operations careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Director of Operations skills. Discover some of the most common Director of Operations career transitions, along with skills overlap.

50% skills overlap
16% transitioned to Manager