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Best Jobs: Masters in Operations Management

Operations management team working at a computer.

The vast majority of companies that produce products or ship supplies need professionals trained in operations management. Operations management plays a role in the success of hospitality, manufacturing, restaurant, information technology, and other businesses. A master’s degree in operations management prepares one for the intense and vital duties of this position. However, most jobs for operations management majors don’t have “operations management” in their titles. Therefore, new graduates could find it tough to locate the ideal jobs for their education. Today, let’s break down the best careers for a master’s in operations management. We’ll also go over the job responsibilities and what this degree entails!

Qualities of Master’s in Operations Management Programs

Most master’s degrees in operations management require about 30-credit hours and take 18 to 24 months to complete. These degree programs qualify students to oversee operations and supply chain responsibilities at small to large organizations.

Most of these programs focus on topics such as:

  • Supply chain management
  • Vendor relationships
  • Inventory management
  • Operational efficiency
  • Policies and procedures
  • Business operations flexibility

Operations management degree programs often offer concentrations in one of the above areas or other specialties.

Operations Management Salaries

A master’s in operations management qualifies a professional for a variety of careers. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, these careers yield good salaries ranging between $50,000 and $100,000 a year or more. Operations management careers focus on logistics, operations efficiency, and business improvement. Many are adjacent or identical to supply-chain-related jobs.

Best Operations Management Master’s Degree Jobs

1. Logistics Manager

Many graduates with master's degrees in operations management become logistics managers. In a nutshell, logistics managers:

  • Handle the day-to-day logistical tasks for large organizations
  • Coordinate between different teams
  • Ensure arrival of equipment or supplies to desirable destinations
  • And more

Think of logistics management staff as versatile professionals who ensure that an organization has everything it needs to maintain regular operations. That’s generalized, but this is true of most careers for operations managers.

As logistics managers, graduates are responsible for guaranteeing that businesses have the supplies and personnel necessary to carry out core business tasks. Depending on their organization or level of seniority, they may be more or less responsible for procuring those supplies or personnel. In this way, some of their responsibilities dip into human resources or supply chain management duties.

Logistics managers typically earn average salaries of $67,993.

2. Project Manager

Project managers handle project management details as their job titles suggest. When they work for an organization, they are often assigned one or more projects. These include launching a new product, expanding the company to a new location, or securing enough materials to fill a new warehouse.

Regardless of the project specifics, project managers:

  • Work closely with executives and provide regular status updates/reports on their progress
  • Obtain the materials and personnel they need to complete their projects
  • Check in with project personnel from time to time to confirm progress

Throughout all of these duties, project managers must also:

  • Determine what projects are worth pursuing
  • Figure out what they’ll need to complete their projects
  • Know how to complete their projects while remaining within assigned budgetary or resource constraints

Project managers play a vital role in a company’s success. Through mismanagement, lousy project managers can bankrupt their companies, after all.

Project managers wear many hats. They often need considerable leadership skills depending on what projects they are assigned to complete and how many people they oversee. Other project managers are more technical or hands-on with designing or developing a product or service.

Project managers earn average salaries of nearly $133,364 per year.

3. Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers are specialized professionals who often have master’s degrees in operations management. These managers focus almost exclusively on supply chain organization, implementation, and resource procurement.
They may handle:

  • The various people within the supply chain for a business, including frontline shipping and warehouse workers as well as procurement middle managers
  • The actual products in warehouses or storage facilities

Supply-chain managers ensure that their businesses have the necessary supplies to create their products, maintain business operations, and more.

However, supply-chain managers also frequently negotiate with vendors. They may receive directives from executives that dictate their budgetary or resource constraints. These professionals facilitate relationships with vendors and make sure that shipments arrive and depart on time. Supply chain managers also verify that a company always has the resources needed to fulfill product demand.

In these ways, supply-chain managers are critical personnel who seriously affect the health and viability of long-term operations.

Supply-chain managers earn average salaries of $117,000 per year.

4. Supply Chain Analyst

Supply chain analysts do not manage supply chain operations within a company. Instead, they have more technical responsibilities and focus on analyzing existing supply chain operations. Thus, they often need more specialized degrees or master’s degrees with a concentration in statistics or analytics.

In any event, supply-chain analysts:

  • Look at current supply chain operations and logistics procedures
  • Determine ways to improve supply chain operations for their companies
  • Develop new supply-chain orders or processes depending on executive protocols

In each of these tasks, supply-chain analysts use their knowledge of statistics and logistics. They ensure that supply chains are as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Successful supply-chain analysts help companies save money, maintain warehouse levels, eliminate wasteful practices, and build vendor relationships.

Supply-chain analysts usually earn about $65,000 per year.

5. Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers, also called senior buyers, are closely related to supply-chain managers. However, they focus on procuring supplies or products rather than overseeing the entire breadth of supply chains.

That said, they still frequently facilitate and maintain relationships with important vendors. They may:

  • Seek out new vendors to meet company budgetary constraints or goals
  • Build relationships with vendors through shifting economic conditions
  • Purchase the raw materials or starter products necessary for company operations
  • And more

This job is essential for many organizations. Purchasing managers ensure that warehouses are full, that companies can produce the right products for their customers, and that they get the best price and quality of supplies. Purchasing managers often need some supply-chain experience. However, those with master’s degrees in operations management fit well into this role.

Operations management degrees prepare professionals to be purchasing managers because they teach how to:

  • Predict what products or supplies a company needs
  • Start and maintain vendor relationships
  • Know when a vendor relationship is worth keeping
  • Assure quality supplies
  • Get a good price

Purchasing managers earn about $127,150 per year.

6. Operations Team Leader/Manager

These professionals have broad professional duties. “Operations” in a business sense refers to anything impacting that business’ day-to-day routines, production quotas, and goal progress. It can include product creation, design and development, marketing, staff hiring, and much more.

Thus, operations team leaders or managers have varied responsibilities. They might:

  • Ensure that a production team is on schedule for product creation benchmarks
  • Collect progress reports from different departments
  • Create and staff new teams for company goals
  • And more

Operations team leaders are crucial managers who must have excellent leadership skills and operations management knowledge. Master’s degrees in operations management prepare professionals for these positions because they often include MBA-adjacent course materials. These master’s programs emphasize business leadership and interpersonal communication skills.

Operations team managers earn average salaries of $108,397 per year.

7. Business Analyst

Business analysts are specialized professionals who analyze business or organizational domains and operational processes. After analysis, they may prepare documents or reports for review by company executives. These reports break down:

  • What works about business operations
  • Improvements needed
  • Recommendations to build a more robust operation

Business analysts are essential outside eyes that look into how well a business truly performs. Business analysts may work as third-party investigators, freelancers, or consultants. Some business analysts are kept on retainer or work for one organization over many years. In these cases, their jobs are to ensure that their business constantly evolves in a good direction.

Regardless, business analysts are crucial for helping businesses improve over time. They may specifically look at how well a business’s model works, how easily it can integrate with technology, and how well a company keeps up with its competitors. Business analysts take on varied and crucial responsibilities or specializations.

Most individuals with master’s degrees in operations management don’t start as business analysts. They may transition into this career after having some years in the operations management sector.

Business analysts earn average salaries of nearly $80,000 per year.

8. Project Coordinator

Project coordinators do precisely what their job title suggests — they coordinate between teams, departments, and even different organizations. Then they ensure that projects are completed on time and under budget.

Say that a company needs to expand into a new facility in a new area of the country. That’s a big project, and a company may employ a project coordinator to see to:

  • Direct staff to know where they are going
  • Hiring new staff
  • Make sure all departments understand their responsibilities
  • The move goes smoothly
  • Product design and development running smoothly
  • And more

Furthermore, project coordinators ensure that different team members or leaders communicate regularly. They also confirm that various departments work together on joint, company-wide projects.

On a day-to-day basis, a project coordinator may:

  • Make sure that the product development team communicates with the customer feedback team to know what to create.
  • Ensure communication between the marketing team and product development team
  • Communicate with the sales team so that they sell products correctly, use the correct terminology when speaking to customers, and so on

Project coordinators are vital personnel who are more important for larger companies with many departments working together. They ensure that those departments don’t work at cross purposes or waste resources.

Project coordinators earn approximately $64,431 per year on average.

9. Administrative Service and Facility Manager

Some individuals with master’s degrees in operations management become administrative services and facilities managers. These professionals direct, plan, and potentially coordinate different activities that assist with organizational efficiency. In simpler terms, they make sure that the administrative operations run smoothly.

Naturally, a master’s in operations management is an excellent fit for this career. Operations management often deals with how operations affect administrative capabilities or workflows or vice versa. Many larger organizations can cripple themselves by not considering operational limitations for lower departments or teams.

Administrative service and facilities managers ensure that this doesn’t happen. They also confirm that:

  • A business has enough administrative infrastructure to handle new projects or developments, such as opening a new branch
  • Company facilities are good enough for administrative needs
  • And more

However, note that administrative services and facilities managers don’t need master’s degrees specifically. In most cases, they only need a bachelor’s degree. That’s because many of these managers mainly supervise administrative or clerical staff.

Thus, professionals who apply for these jobs with master’s degrees may find that they are overqualified unless the position is more demanding than usual.

These professionals earn nearly $99,000 per year on average.

10. Production Planner

Production planners prepare for production quotas, supply-chain adjustments, or new developments coming down the company pipeline.

For example, imagine an organization whose executives decide that they need to produce another 1,000 units of a top-tier product. A production planner is responsible for:

  • Communicating this information to the supply chain manager, the product development team, and any other necessary parties
  • Making sure that the company has enough supplies and resources to manage the increased production
  • Communicating any feedback to the executive team

In many ways, production planners ensure that planned developments, expansions, or business pivots go as smoothly as possible. They may do a lot of leadership or interpersonal work depending on their exact positions and responsibilities.

On the technical side of things, production planners:

  • Work closely with product developers and designers to make sure that production can proceed as planned
  • Plan production benchmarks or progress reports so that production occurs on time
  • Work with the financial team to make sure that production doesn’t go over budget or past deadline, affecting labor costs

Depending on their experience and job responsibilities, production planners could lean more toward the leadership and managerial side of things. On the other hand, they may lean more toward the technical and product development side.

Production planners earn around $63,000 per year on average.

11. Quality Assurance Manager

Some professionals with master’s degrees in operations management become quality assurance managers. These professionals run quality assurance and customer service teams. Though not directly related to operations management, the degree is similar enough that the career is still viable to many.

In a nutshell, quality assurance managers:

  • Train and support customer service staff to ensure high standards of service
  • Ensure that quality assurance processes and procedures are efficient and work well for company customer service goals
  • Work internally to make sure that staff do the right thing when interacting with upset customers
  • Develop customer service and product investigation routines and procedures
  • Make sure that products meet a certain standard
  • Ensure that products comply with local or national regulations and restrictions

Think of quality assurance managers as quality checkers for organizational operations. They confirm that a company’s operations are up to snuff in many ways. They prevent companies from cutting corners, ensuring that they do not breach regulations or rules.

Like many of these careers, quality assurance managers can be more people-focused. They may oversee more staff and emphasize the customer service element of business. Alternatively, they could focus more on product quality assurance. In these positions, they double down on ensuring high-quality products that don’t come with risks to consumers.

Quality assurance managers are most important in industries where regulatory compliance is a primary concern.

Quality assurance managers earn around $117,000 per year on average.

12. Warehouse Manager

Warehouse managers are closely related to supply-chain specialists and managers. As managers of warehouse locations and staff, they:

  • Oversee the hiring, training, and firing of warehouse staff
  • Ensure that warehouses stay at full capacity, as much as possible
  • Negotiate with vendors or work with supply-chain managers for the same purposes
  • Work to provide materials or products to the company for production purposes
  • Give regular reports on warehouse stock
  • Prevent warehouse stock from being stolen or vanishing

Warehouse managers are primarily hands-on, and it helps to have a lot of operations management experience. Master’s degrees in operations management prepare professionals to manage warehouses, stock facilities, etc. Warehouse managers are influential professionals for companies that make a lot of products. They are doubly important for organizations that ship products regularly.
In these circumstances, warehouse managers may also be responsible for seeing that product shipments go smoothly.

Most warehouse managers earn average salaries of around $90,000.

13. Operations Researcher

Operations researchers dive deep into business operations processes. They may, like business analysts, analyze a company’s current policies and procedures. Then they create reports with their findings for company executives.

After analysis, an operations researcher may:

  • Develop new ways for a business to reinvent or reinvigorate its business policies/procedures
  • Research innovative means to integrate technology into company operations
  • Research how competitors perform their operations

Operations researchers improve company operations and procedures across the board. For example, suppose a competing company creates a new way to ship products in the same industry. In that case, an operations researcher may uncover this.

Then they can bring that information to their company executives. Depending on their exact responsibilities, they could also be responsible for implementing the new operations policies.

Some operations researchers perform trial runs of new policies or procedures. This is more common in large organizations, as implementing new procedures across a big company is more resource-intensive.

Operations researchers and similar analysts earn about $82,360 per year on average.

14. Inventory Control Manager

Inventory control managers are similar to warehouse managers, supply-chain specialists, and others. However, they focus primarily on inventory control and organization. Where warehouse managers may have responsibilities involving staffing and shipping, inventory control managers:

  • Focus exclusively on counting and organizing available stock or inventory supplies
  • Come up with new ways to inventory supplies for better efficiency and accuracy
  • Make sure that theft, poor organization, or logistics issues do not affect inventory
  • Handle permissions for inventory management software or counting tasks to prevent too many people from adjusting stock counts
  • Communicate with executives to know how much inventory they have, how much they could have in the future, and such

Inventory control managers often have operations management degrees for obvious reasons. These degrees are perfect since they teach how stocked inventory affects business operations. Inventory control managers with these degrees are more successful as they can better see how their work impacts the business’ bottom lines or production quotas.

Most inventory control managers earn average salaries of about $96,000 per year.

Summary

If you’re not sure whether a master’s in operations management is right for you, check out online degree programs. GetEducated’s list of master’s degrees in logistics and operations management online is perfect for students looking to find the ideal program for their needs. Many of these programs have detailed descriptions that dive deeper into what a career in this field means. Check out our online catalog of degree programs today!

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