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Operations Assistant: Job Description & Requirements

Operations assistants typically require little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Operations assistants work in a variety of industries, providing administrative support along with clerical tasks that aid the daily business operations of an organization. They typically report directly to an operations manager or supervisor. A job as an operations assistant generally does not require more than a high school education, except in specific industries such as the medical field. This career might appeal to someone interested in organization, business operations and communication.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Recommended Skills Office, computer and English grammar knowledge
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 7% (business operations specialist, all others)
Median Wage (2013)* $66,090 (business operations specialist, all others)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Operations assistants work with operations managers and other personnel to help keep businesses running smoothly. Because these professionals work in such a wide range of industries, specific job duties vary substantially. For example, airport operations assistants may focus on traffic control and airport security, while property operations assistants may be responsible for interacting with tenants and ensuring that maintenance projects are completed. Other operations assistants may have duties including resolving customer issues, filling orders, and inspecting merchandise.

Operations assistants in many industries may also help with office and employee management. They may be assigned tasks such as ordering supplies and preparing sales reports. Operations assistants may also help train employees and perform some bookkeeping duties. Throughout their work, they may be able to provide upper management with insights to further increase productivity.

Requirements for Operations Assistants

Employers generally require at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. High school classes like business, typing, and statistics may help prepare students for entry-level clerical positions.

Some employers may prefer applicants who have completed a certificate or associate's degree program. Students may consider completing an industry-specific program. For example, those considering a career as a medical office operations assistant may enroll in courses that emphasize medical office procedures like maintaining patient charts or medical records. Similarly, those considering a career as a business operations assistant may opt for a tailored program that covers accounting and finance.

Because aspiring operations assistants must interact with a wide variety of professionals that may include clients, patients, and landlords, they must be able to communicate well. Interpersonal skills may be improved through taking classes like professional speaking and business writing.

Job Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of all other business operations specialists, including operations assistants, was projected to increase by about 7% from 2012-2022. The median annual salary earned by these careers was reported as $66,090 in May 2013 by the same source. Workers employed by the petroleum industry earned the most money, averaging $105,340 a year. The top paying state for this career field is Washington, D.C., with workers averaging $91,970 annually.

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