Operations manager job description

Operations managers direct the daily functions of an organisation to ensure that it meets its long-term strategies and goals.

They oversee high level factors like process improvement, planning, headcount and budgeting, to ensure that their employer’s business is running as efficiently as possible.

This in-depth guide features a full operations manager job description and everything else you need to know about the role, such as average salary, skills, qualifications, opportunities for career progression and more.


Guide contents

  • Operations manager job description
  • How much do operations managers earn?
  • What does an operations manager do?
  • Requirements, skills and qualifications
  • Who employs operations managers?
  • Which junior jobs progress to operations manager roles?


Operations manager job description

Operations Manager | Village Stores Ltd


About Village Stores Ltd

Here at Village Stores Our stores span suburbs, towns and villages across the UK and are run by locals, for locals. We provide the essentials, serve with a smile and passionately support local schools, charities and suppliers.


About the role

As Operations Manager, you will be responsible for managing the operations of several stores in your area to ensure that the company meets annual strategy plans, runs an efficient service as possible and maximises profitability – you will report to the operations director.



  • Creating, implementing and monitoring clear goals and KPIs for individual stores
  • Challenging store plans, processes and strategies to ensure optimal operational success
  • Planning and delivering process improvement and business change projects
  • Leading the budgets for regional operations and monitoring the budget/forecast performance
  • Taking full responsibility for regional profit & loss, focusing on driving sales and profits and delivering the highest quality customer experience in assigned stores.
  • Maximising the efficiency of our local store managers, encouraging them to deliver operational excellence by developing their personal and business skills through training
  • Reviewing store manager’s progress, including sales and profit targets, by carrying out regular business development review meetings.
  • Managing headcount across multiple stores and warehouses whilst leading recruitment campaigns to secure the best talent in the industry
  • Ensuring Village Store’s company guidelines, alongside policies and procedures relating to health and safety, are met across all assigned stores.


Location & commitments

  • Full-time, permanent role based primarily in our Altrincham office.
  • Regular travel to stores within the Greater Manchester area.
  • 5 hours per week, with flexi-time available between 8am and 6pm.
  • Regular evening and weekend overtime expected, in line with project delivery and deadlines.


Candidate requirements


  • 3 years+ experience in a food retail/supermarket operations role.
  • Significant project, process and change management experience.
  • Commercially minded, with a thorough understanding of profit and loss in regards to the influence of operating factors.
  • A collaborative team player – passionate about team success as well as individual performance.
  • A proven leader with the ability to train and motivate others to achieve.
  • A full UK driving license.


  • Degree educated in a relevant subject (operations management, retail management, business administration/management, etc).

Contact us to apply

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, challenging role with unrivalled opportunity for career profession, why not apply today?

Send an up-to-date and complete copy of your CV, alongside a short cover letter explaining why you’d make a good fit for the role to our recruitment manager, Susan Williams, at S.Williams@villagestoresrecruit.com.


How much do operations managers earn?

A job as an operations manager is a role of great responsibility, hence earning a generous salary — with an average UK wage of £43,379.


Operations manager salaries in the UK

  • Low: £28,000
  • Average: £43,379
  • High: £64,000

Source: Glassdoor


Operations manager salaries will vary hugely depending on:

  • The industry/sector of the employer – Operations manager roles are available across sectors, meaning salaries can vary dramatically — for example, business, legal and e-commerce operations manager salaries are normally (but not always) higher than travel, transport and store operations managers
  • Level of experience – Those entering the profession at junior level can expect a significantly lower salary (around £20-30k), but this quickly rises with experience
  • Location – Operations managers working in the major economic hubs, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, normally earn more than those working in smaller towns and cities

For example, a senior business operations manager working in London for a multinational employer, will normally earn more than a graduate retail operations manager working in Glasgow.

Be aware that these are average figures taken from a range of job advert samples and they do not include extra benefits such as bonuses, profit share schemes, commission, overtime and non-financial benefits like private healthcare.


What does an operations manager do?

Breaking down the jargon of the job description, here is a general view of the types of tasks and responsibilities operations managers will normally carry out:

  • Improving processes – Monitoring and improving operational strategies, systems and processes in line with wider business objectives – making changes to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Ensuring profitability – Monitoring profits and making sure the business is run in the most efficient and profitable way possible
  • Monitoring KPIs – Ensuring targets and KPIs are in place and consistently met
  • Strategy planning – Playing a role in the long-term planning and strategy of a business
  • Managing change – Planning and implementing changes whilst ensuring minimum disruption to the function of the business
  • Monitoring budgets – Creating and overseeing budgets within each area of the company and monitoring expenditure
  • Managing health + safety – Ensuring the business and its premises are compliant with all health and safety laws, policies and legislations
  • Tracking inventory – Ensuring the supply chain procedures have a steady supply of the necessary materials, stock or services
  • Creating reports + documentation – Making sure all company-wide documentation is complete and up-to-date
  • Leading staff – Managing and coordinating the work of staff and contractors
  • Improving staff efficiency – Monitoring staff and contractor performance, pinpointing any inefficiencies and suggesting methods of improvement
  • Managing headcount – Ensuring the business has adequate staff and skills to perform optimally – leading recruitment campaigns to hire suitable staff
  • Reporting – Presenting business performance results to senior business team, such as directors and board members


What do operations managers need?

candidate requirements

Operations managers need a wide range of skills, experience, knowledge and, often, qualifications in order to carry out the job to a high standard.

The specific requirements will depend on the seniority of each job, as well as the industry and type of business being managed, but here’s what’s generally needed.



Assistant operations manager jobs are available to people who progress within a business internally, or external graduates from relevant subjects without any prior experience.

Mid-level operations manager roles can be gained after achieving a few years of experience in a junior operations manager role, but specific requirements will vary from company to company.

Senior operations manager roles will normally require candidates to have significant proven experience (generally 5+ years) in an operations manager role within the specific field or sector specialism.


Operations manager skills

Aside from the hard skills mentioned above (such as strategy and budgeting) operations managers will benefit from the following soft skills:

  • Leadership: Managing, coordinating and motivating large teams of staff and external contractors
  • Interpersonal: Building strong relationships within the business
  • Communication: Written and verbal communication with staff, stakeholders and external parties at every level
  • Organisation: Planning workload effectively, as well as managing and prioritising numerous tasks and deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Numeracy – Handling large amounts of changing numbers when dealing with budgeting, reporting and headcount requires an ability for dealing with figures
  • Teamwork: Proactively and effectively liaising with other team members and departments, including managers, key stakeholders and general staff
  • Sector knowledge: Possessing strong knowledge of the industry being worked in, such as retail, transports, law, business or e-commerce


Operations manager qualifications

While experience is generally valued higher than qualifications in the operations manager profession, most successful candidates do have a good standard of general education.

Additionally, competition for jobs can be tough, so gaining a range of academic and vocational courses and qualifications may help candidates to land jobs, perform better in their roles and amplify their career progression.



Whilst a degree is not essential to enter the profession, the majority of operations managers are degree educated and the majority of entry-level/junior positions require at least a HND or bachelor’s degree.

While degrees in any field are normally accepted providing the candidate shows promise in terms of skills and transferable experience, the following subjects can improve the chances of landing a role:


  • Operations management
  • Business studies
  • Business administration
  • Business management
  • Project management
  • Facilities management
  • Finance and/or accounting


Additionally, degrees related to the specific industry the candidate wants to work in can be logical routes into the profession.


Chartered Management Institute qualifications

The CMI offers a range of qualifications, ranging from Level 2 (for aspiring managers) to Level 8 (for C-level managers), in subjects such management and leadership, business support and project management. The courses enable students to develop and broaden their management skills and will put aspiring operations managers in good stead to perform well in an operations role.


MSc in Operations Management or Business Administration

Masters level qualifications in operations management, business administration or management will inevitably put candidates at an advantage in the field; including faster progression and more varied opportunities within senior management.


What is expected of operations  managers?

Typically, operations management will be expected to commit the following;

  • Full time hours Roles are normally full-time (35 – 40 hours per week)
  • Shift work – In industries such as manufacturing and oil & gas, operations managers may work on a shift basis to cover 24-hour company operations
  • Occasional evening and weekend work For those who do work standard 9-5 hours, overtime and out of hours shifts may be required when project deadlines are nearing or emergency situations arise
  • Location – Normally based at the employer’s head office or site of operations
  • Travel Travel between company locations and overnight stays may occasionally be required, depending on the number and location of company sites.


Operations manager benefits

A role as an operations manager is a well-respected position of great responsibility, meaning job posts will usually come with a good benefits package, including perks like:

  • Bonuses Based on business performance
  • Profit share schemes
  • Generous holiday allowance
  • Pension
  • Healthcare
  • Car allowance or company car
  • Corporate discounts



Who employs operations managers?


Broadly speaking, only larger companies hire operations managers, because smaller firms’ daily operations are rarely complex enough to require a dedicated employee to manage them.

Since operations managers are needed across business in the public, private and non-profit sectors, employment opportunities are varied and diverse.

It’s also important to note that operations manager roles often come with different titles, including but not limited to: technical services manager, facilities manager, property manager and asset manager – again depending on the industry.

Large national and international organisations tend to have an operations manager for every department, meaning employment opportunities are easier to come by. Smaller and mid-sized companies sometimes employ a single operations manager to oversee the entire company, meaning opportunities are less frequent.

While this list is not exhaustive, you will commonly find operations managers employed within:

  • Retail
  • Travel
  • Transport
  • E-commerce
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Utilities
  • Government
  • Local councils
  • Charities


Which junior jobs progress to operations manager roles?

Stepping stone jobs

Aside from trainee/graduate programs, some jobs can open up opportunities for employees to progress into operations manager roles. These include:


Business administrator

Business administrators oversee a variety of administration tasks to ensure the smooth daily operation of an organisation and often report to an operations manager. A good amount of business administration experience paired with an appropriate qualification often lands candidates in good stead to transgress into an operations manager role.

Operations assistant

Operations assistants assist managers with their workload, ensure administrative tasks are completed and help to keep the business functions running efficiently. Operations assistant jobs don’t normally require a degree, so make a great springboard for those wishing to progress into operations manager roles, after working closely with an operations manager for 1-3 years and learning all the necessary skills on the job.

Office/general manager

Office and general managers help to manage the day-to-day operations of an office or business, manage staff and ensure daily activities are carried out to the highest standard. As the management experience gained in these roles is so transferable, managers often step up into senior management roles, including operations manager.


Which senior jobs do operations managers progress to?

Even though a career as an operations manager is a rewarding career choice in its own right, professionals within the field make great candidates for a range of senior (and often highly lucrative) management jobs, such as:


Operations director

After progressing into senior operations manager roles, the most logical step is to become an operations director, leading a team of operations directors. This is a varied role that works across all areas of a business; ensuring things run as efficiently as possible whilst maximising profitability, as well as overseeing company goals and strategy.

Chief operating officer (COO)

For senior operations managers who truly excel in their role and gain significant experience, the role of chief operating officer (COO) is well within reach. This highly paid role includes overseeing all company operational and financial procedures and works directly with the company CEO.


Operations manager job description – conclusion

A job as an operations manager is highly skilled, with vast employment opportunities and ongoing demand from a wide range of industries and employers across the country.

While demanding and fast-paced, a career in the field pays well above the national average salary. With significant experience, operations managers are often eligible for progression into six-figure roles.

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