Director of Operations

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What Is a Director of Operations? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

A director of operations works with different department leaders to maximize the productivity and efficiency of a company’s teams. Here’s what to know about a director of operations’ salary, needed skills and how to become one.


What Is a Director of Operations?

A director of operations aligns department managers and company executives behind strategies for helping a company perform at a high level and meet broader business objectives.


What Does a Director of Operations Do?

A director of operations is responsible for developing policies and processes that enable a company to meet daily and long-term business goals. They work with executive leaders and department managers to establish company-wide strategies.

Director of Operations Responsibilities

  • Adjust company policies and processes to increase efficiency. 
  • Develop and track metrics for measuring productivity on different teams.
  • Plan budget and forecast whether business can meet financial goals. 
  • Decide how to best allocate resources to support company’s success.
  • Work with human resources to craft a welcoming and seamless workplace.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Director of Operations

  • Analyze performance metrics and provide individual and team evaluations.
  • Meet with the chief operating officer (COO) and chief executive officer (CEO) to discuss broader company goals and strategies. 
  • Meet with department managers to discuss ways for improving efficiency and productivity within their teams. 
  • Review budget limits and make changes where needed. 
  • Assess business processes and determine ways for teams to reduce costs and speed up different tasks.

Director of Operations Within a Company 

A director of operations is a high-ranking role that works cross-functionally with different department managers, including marketing managers, sales managers and product managers. The director of operations typically reports to the COO and CEO.

Importance of a Director of Operations

The director of operations is in charge of working with department leaders and company executives to make teams as efficient and productive as possible. As a result, they are integral to the profitability and long-term health of a business.

What are the roles of a director of operations? | Video: Scaling For Success


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Director of Operations?

Qualifications to Be a Director of Operations

  • Previous management or leadership experience. 
  • Background in operations, information technology (IT), business or a similar field.
  • Understanding of business processes and different departments. 
  • Ability to keep track of various details across the company. 
  • Experience planning and setting both short- and long-term business goals.

Director of Operations Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, IT, data science or a related discipline. 
  • Master’s in business administration highly recommended. 
  • Relevant certifications (not required, but helpful for career advancement). 
  • At least 10 years of professional work experience.

Director of Operations Hard Skills

  • In-depth knowledge of a company’s various departments. 
  • Business acumen for determining cost-efficient processes. 
  • Research and data analysis skills for reviewing performance metrics.
  • Skilled in financial forecasting to keep company on track for meeting goals. 
  • Understanding of policies conducive to a healthy and productive workplace.

Director of Operations Soft Skills

  • Communication skills for working with department and executive leaders. 
  • Analytical mindset for spotting trends and making data-driven decisions. 
  • Excellent problem-solving skills for addressing issues across various teams.
  • Ability to establish and enforce short-term and long-term goals.
  • Exceptional leadership skills for overseeing department managers.

Tools and Programs a Director of Operations Uses

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How to Become a Director of Operations

Director of Operations Education and Experience

A director of operations typically earns a bachelor’s in business, IT, data science, marketing, communications or a related field. It’s also best to possess a master’s in business administration for this role. After completing their education, incoming professionals can expect to work 10 years before applying to a director of operations position. Operations analyst is an ideal entry-level role, but directors of operations come from many backgrounds. Depending on the department, employees can work their way up to gain leadership experience as marketing managers, sales managers, IT managers and other managerial roles.

Director of Operations Certificates and Courses

Director of Operations Career Path

After working in the director of operations role for at least one to two years, a successful director of operations may move up in the c-suite to become a COO and eventually set their sights on the CEO position.


Director of Operations Salary and Job Outlook

The director of operations remains a promising position since the number of top executive jobs is anticipated to rise by 6 percent between 2021 and 2031. 

The full compensation package for a director of operations depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average director of operations salary.


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