The Career Trajectory of an Operations Professional

An operations professional makes a business or organization run smoothly. Every large organization (and many small ones) has some section of talent devoted to making things run more efficiently and cost-effectively. Walmart’s section is called Business Operations while Uber’s is called Operations and Launch. There’s no one right way to get started or advance in this career. The job titles, schedules, tasks and general trajectory vary greatly.

The Trailhead: Where to Start

AP Professionals in Rochester, NY explores the career trajectory of an Operations Professional.

There are many ways to start a career in this field. Depending on your goals and how far you plan to advance, the first step is getting the right education. One example is obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business with a masters in Operations Management Specialization. The top executives in this field typically hold bachelor’s degrees at minimum. Once you’re ready to enter the workforce, you might begin as an intern, an Operations Management Trainee, Operations Assistant, or Entry Level Operations Analyst. These jobs are generally not very high-earning to start, but come with the expectation that you’ll advance. 

The Climb: How to Get There

This career has a reputation for strong personalities and work ethic, as usually people in these positions have diverse responsibilities and require strong leadership skills. Here is a quote from Megan Plis, a Corporate Marketing Manager: “Not only are you a manager, you’re a repairman, an IT guy, a delivery person, a taxi driver, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. To say the least, you wear a lot of hats. But with many hats come many rewards.”

Your job title as a middle or higher-middle operations manager may vary. It could be Business Operations Manager, Team Lead Operations, or Operations Director. The company Slack, for example, calls their mid-level operations position “Strategy and Operations Leader.” 

View from the Top

The Chief Operating Officer, COO, or Executive Vice President of Operations is at the very top leadership level, often second only to the Chief Executive Officer. Generally the COO is responsible for internal affairs and executing the business plan of the company. This person has probably worked for at least 15 years within the field, gaining in-depth experience and knowing intimately all the moving parts of an industry or organization. In an article by Investopedia published in February of 2020, Payscale reports the average COO salary as $144,313. 

Partner with AP Professionals to Advance Your Career

The specifics of the trajectory in an operations career vary greatly. There are various ways to start out and there are many exciting opportunities along the way to advance. The core similarities across industries and locations are strong leadership, problem solving skills, and dedication. AP Professionals can help you if you are interested in a career as an Operations Professional. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get your operations career on the best trajectory for you. Visit to learn more.


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