Operations management programs are oftentimes offered as part of a specialization option for business administration or business management degrees. Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in or related to operations management learn about the practical elements of manufacturing and distributing goods, such as overseeing quality control teams, making correct purchase orders, hiring and training employees, negotiating labor and wage disputes, complying with safety standards and overseeing materials management.
Programs require a high school diploma or GED for admission and generally take two years to complete. Certification for graduates of these programs is available through the Association for Operations Managers.
Associate Degree in Operations Management
Students enrolled in an associate degree program in operations management must take practical courses related to technical operations, as well as management courses. Students are also expected to build strong oral and written communication skills, as well as problem-solving and leadership skills. Some courses include:
- Principles of management
- College-level accounting
- Quality management and control
- Health and safety in a manufacturing environment
- Labor relations management
- Business communications
Popular Career Options
An associate degree program in operations management can prepare individuals for entry-level management positions in several manufacturing industries. Some types of positions include:
- Manufacturing operations manager
- Transportation manager
- Distribution manager
- Inventory control manager
- Quality assurance manager
- Casino business operations manager
- Aviation operations manager
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that general and operations management positions were predicted to grow 7% from 2014-2024. These professionals earned a mean yearly salary of $119,460 in May 2015. However, it must be noted that these jobs come with great competition. Applicants generally must have years of experience, along with at least a bachelor's degree in operations management or a related field.
Graduates of an associate degree program in operations management who are interested in furthering their education and career choices might consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree program in operations management, logistics, or supply chain management.
Operations managers can also gain certification from the Association for Operations Managers. The association allows professionals to become certified in Product and Inventory Management or gain a Certified Supply Chain Professional designation.
Students interested in operations management might first consider earning an associate's degree in the field to learn about such topics as organizational management, productivity, financial analysis and labor relations before pursuing further education or entering the career field.